Wednesday, October 10, 2012


so yesterday was "motionsdag" (mo-see-owns-day) at my school.

motion means exercise.

dag is day.

"exercise day."

apparently motionsdag is a national tradition in danish schools (so that meant us), typically held the friday before efterårsferie...

efterår (meaning literally "after year" and translating to autumn... spring being 'forår'... and of course, sommer and vinter, summer and winter.)

ferie means holiday.

next week-- week 42 (for those of you living anywhere but denmark) is the fall holiday. (this is a potentially completely uniquely danish practice-- to refer to the passage of time by the week number. are there any other countries that do this?)

motionsdag is a day to promote movement and exercise.  not a bad idea.  we had our motionsdag on tuesday because that is the one day in common for each class.  friday may have yielded low turnout.

some of my classmates, questionably dressed for a day of exercise...

my teacher standing up at the front, about to lead the warmup...

op varm!

then we split into two large groups.  one stayed at the school to play either volleyball or do a field day of sorts-- walk in a figure eight balancing an egg on a spoon type of things.  the other-- my group-- went to a nearby park for either fodbold (soccer), rundbold (sort of like baseball), or kongespil/vikingespil, which is what i opted for.  i realized after i started playing, that i'd actually played it before in the u.s. (with some friends of scandinavian origin), so maybe you have too.

there are two teams of six players who stand on opposite 'endzones' if you will.  in each endzone are six wooden blocks (see below).  in the middle of the field stands a wooden castle.  each person has a cylindrical wooden throwing stick, which they toss in order to try to knock down the other team's wooden blocks....

if you knock a block down, the other team has to throw that block past the castle, to the other team's side of the field, on their turn.  then they have to knock that block down before they can try to knock down any of the other side's blocks.  if they knock it down, it's out of play and they can continue trying to knock down the other side's blocks.  if the don't knock it down during the six attempts which constitute their turn, the other side can move up to that block's location and throw from there.  once you've knocked down all the other team's blocks, you have to knock down the castle to win the game. (we lost.)

after the game, we went back to the school for lunch.  then the two groups swapped.  we stayed at the school and i opted to play volleyball... (and we won!)

rescuing the ball from a tree...

then a semi-organized salsa dance, which i did not get a picture of (because i was dancing).

and finally, a raffle, where i won... nothing...

soon after that last picture was taken it began to drizzle, and by the time i was halfway home it was pouring down rain and hailing, which i was able to confirm when a piece of ice landed on my lower lip.

so that was yesterday, at least the part about school.

and here, for the w&h fans, a couple of shots from today at the park...

before the helmet came off...
"balance beam"

and probably needing a helmet...
"little gorilla"



nina said...

Are the rules of the game explained in Danish? Actually, I'm beginning to think that Danish is the third hardest language in Europe (after Finnish and Hungarian). No words sound familiar.

I look at w&h here, on the playground, and I watch Modern Family, where they're sending their kid off to college and I want to tell you this: the time between that playground and the college sendoff is awfully short. Remember that I told you so.

greg|regan said...

hi nina,

the teacher leading the game explained the rules to us in english. there were some women in 'modul 3' who understood them pretty well, and me and my other two classmates got some of the pantomiming (okay, toss the stick, don't hit the king first), and then asked the other women, in english, what we were supposed to do. so... sort of cheating.

regarding the the difficulty of danish-- i've heard rumors that it is in the top five, but a quick internet search to substantiate it, came up with nothing (but a lot of hungarian and finnish). but i also found this article, stating that polish is the most difficult language to learn! but you will see that a lof of the commenters disagree (though some don't)--

on time-- it seemed to last forever when i was a child (in a good way), but it's going a lot faster now. at least, if it feels like their childhoods go too fast for greg and me, i can feel good knowing that (hopefully) childhood will feel like it lasts a long, long time for them.