Not the hippest place on earth, most of us over here would probably consider the coolest thing about Norway to be its icy climate. But there’s a new breeze blowing through the land of the Vikings, thanks to the booming popularity of ‘Russ’, a 3-week all-you-can-drink, all-you-can-fuck celebration of juvenescence.
Fast becoming a Norwegian rite of passage, this binge-fest takes place at the end of high school. With all rules and restrictions going out the window, buses full of horny teens descend on the Norwegian wilderness to indulge in a debauched bender in which excessive drinking, drug-taking and casual-sex are the norm.
Travelling around the country in buses and vans saved-for and customised during the final year of school, the oversexed kids dress in coloured boiler suits corresponding to the subjects they’ve majored in. The outfits are then finished off by a ‘Russ hat’, a peaked cap strung with ‘knots’ or charms that are awarded when special tasks or dares have been completed. Same sex kiss: one knot. Tea-bagging: 2 knots. Orgy: 5 knots. You get the picture. It’s debauched, it’s lustful, it’s electrifying. And it confirms our suspicions that it’s Belgium that really sucks.
The Norwegian Way is packed full of photographs taken between 2003 and 2007 by Norwegian photographer Jørn Tomter, who beautifully captures the decadence and depravity of the tour in pictorial form. His aim? To create something that will ‘in time become an artefact - a record of a tradition and time forgotten.’ Artefacts aside, the 130-page book wonderfully encapsulates the spirit of youth and the joys of freedom, but more than anything, it’s a book that will make you want to be nineteen, horny and Norwegian. Like all these fuckers.