The Chalmers Tradition


For every educational institution, its history and traditions go a long way in forming its reputation and projecting it out to the rest of the world. Chalmers University enjoys the luxury of having both in abundance; rich history and interesting traditions.

This week right outside the union building you could spot the Chalmers Cortege Committee, publicizing this year’s Cortege event and looking for participants. As an international student, I was totally naive about the concept and the history behind it. Out of curiosity I dug in a little deeper and explored what this committee actually did. To my surprise the Cortege had been an annual event since 1911 and since then has been a proud tradition at Chalmers. Infact the word is that a“true” Chalmerist builds the Cortege at least once in his student life.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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The Cortege parade

Students register for the event as different teams and each team conjures up a unique idea as to what it wants to build. It can be anything at all, ranging from a dragon that hurls out fire to a massive rat wheel. The scope of putting your imagination into reality is immense; it is just about how well you can pull it off as a team. The Cortege that every team builds is then part of a parade, in which it is showcased in front of the entire city. The building time is ten days, in which you can ask for what-ever raw material you need and have access to free beer! Amazing! I would have never dreamt of a university that gives out beer just like that! The building time is the phase where all the excitement and thrill builds up; around 600 people, working on the cortege out in the pleasant spring weather definitely promises to be a blast. I also came across many students who have made the cortege in the past, and no prizes for guessing that they were all praise for the mesmerising and fun-filled event this is.

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Bringing to life, one of the many innovative ideas about building a cortege

This year’s Cortege building week kicks off on the 20th of April. After 10 days of some rigorous building and partying, the parade takes place on the 30th of April. Given all the buzz around it and the true fest that it promises to be, the Cortege automatically tops my list of priorities from now on. The best part is that the ten days of building are during the re-exam period at Chalmers, so for those who are not writing the exams again, it is the ideal time to join in on the  grand tradition and be immortalised in the history of Chalmers. I really hope I do not have to write an exam again and can make it to the Cortege this year! Best of luck to everyone who has the same concerns !