Student - February 12, 2015

How do Wageningen students celebrate carnival?

Alaaf! That’s a traditional carnival greeting. For part of the Netherlands this is one of the greatest parties of the year. Months of preparation precede it: fabulous carnival floats are built and beautiful outfits put together. What do Wageningen students do for carnival?

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Evelien Vaessen
Second-year MSc Biotechnology
From Klimmen (Limburg)
‘On Thursday evening I’m going to Valkenburg. All sorts of carnival acts perform there in a large public square. I’ll probably go out on Friday evening with a group of girlfriends and on Saturday to a party in the village. On Sunday I’ll watch a parade. At secondary school I was always on a float in the parade, but not anymore. Back then I could help get the float ready every weekend from December onwards. Now I simply don’t have the time. What’s the best part of carnival? Normal life is turned upside down in the whole of Limburg. Either you flee Limburg or you celebrate carnival, there’s no middle ground. It’s simply part of Limburg’s culture.’

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Koen Peijnenborg
Second-year MSc Biology
From Vught (North Brabant)
‘It’s a real pity but I have to study during carnival. Normally I go with friends to a village a few kilometres from Vught for a good night out. During carnival everyone amuses themselves in whatever way they like and no one is the least bit bothered, which is really fun. I once took some Wageningen housemates to Oeteldonk (Den Bosch’s carnival name). They came from Friesland and North and South Holland. Some of them were celebrating carnival for the first time. They really enjoyed themselves. If I have time next year, I’ll definitely be celebrating carnival again.’

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Kristina Reinbold
Third-year BSc Food Technology
From Halle (Westphalia, Germany)
‘I won’t be celebrating carnival because I’m going skiing. At home in Halle carnival is only for little children. We used to go to primary school dressed up as, say, a princess, cowboy or witch. We ate breakfast all together and we were given sweets. That was really fun. And in the rest of Germany? Carnival is a much bigger event in Cologne. And in a village about 20 kilometres to the north of Halle they celebrate it more extensively than we do. There the children have the day off school. These days I only watch carnival parades on TV. I think it would be fun to experience carnival in the Netherlands for once.’

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Lars Uphus
Fourth-year BSc Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning
From Schinveld (Limburg)
‘I plan to celebrate every day of carnival, from Thursday to Tuesday. I’m going to various cities in Limburg. Since I’ve been living in Wageningen, I actually celebrate carnival more than when I still lived in Limburg. I didn’t used to belong to a carnival association and my parents weren’t carnival-goers. It was only later on that I found out that I really enjoy it. Now that I live in Wageningen, I feel more strongly that I’m a Limburger, perhaps that’s why. Here in Wageningen, that sense of your own identity gets revived.’


Joao Augusto Rossi Borges
PhD student, Business Economics Group
From Vacaria (Brazil)
‘I come from a small city where we don’t really celebrate carnival. Young people tend to take a trip to the beach to have a party. The parade is my favourite part of carnival. Rio de Janeiro is home to Brazil’s most famous carnival parade. It spans two nights, lasting from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. In recent years I’ve been on holiday in Brazil during carnival. But unfortunately, that’s not possible this year. I have another fifteen days to complete my thesis, so I’m too busy to party.’