August 16, 2006

El Cid

One of the best weeks in Leiden is the current one: the second week in August is El Cid.

Unfortunately this is one of the first years that I am in Leiden but cannot really participate.
It's the introduction week of the city and the university for all new first year students. It's five days of activities, loads of events, excited 18/19-year olds getting to know loads of new people, fraternity/sorority-hopping etc etc .

The main street of this blog - the Hogewoerd - is home to one such student club (or fraternity/sorority, whatever you want to call it): SSR. During this week, SSR competes with the other student societies such as Minerva, Augustinus, Catena and Quintus - to name just the few largest - to get as many new members as possible.

I've been involved in this week in several ways over the last few years. First as a new and excited first year of course. A few years later as a mentor - someone who takes around a group of first years through the city. And a bit after that as part of the El Cid gang at SSR, trying to make the place look as appealing as possible for the many new students arriving in the city.

In general, it's just a week that the city comes alive again after a long summer. Loads of new people happy to be starting their new life in a new city.