The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday May 28th

Pit Talk

Culture Shock: Surrounded by face paint and blow up dinosaurs

For those of you who are American, fraternities and sororities are pretty much a normal thing. they are part of your lives, or at least you're aware they're a tradition.  

But for those of you who are foreign, I feel you. I understand that you don't understand. But don't worry; I've done some serious research, and now that I've been to a fraternity and sorority house, I can tell you the basics of Greek life. These are the concepts you need to know:

Rushing: This is what girls do in order to get into a sorority. 

Although I'm not very familiar with the exact things they do while they're rushing. Do they rush? Do they talk? Do they talk really fast? Mystery. But at the end of the process, they get sorted into houses (Harry Potter-style) during what they call Bid Day. From what I saw on Snapchat, it consists of running around screaming and wearing face paint — Americans loooove face paint.

Greek alphabet: The names of the fraternities and sororities are greek letters. 

Literally greek letters. Alpha Sigma Omega. Bam! Sorority. Delta Kappa Beta. Another sorority. I don't know the reason behind this, but it makes it extremely hard to remember any of the names. Hopefully at the end of the semester I'll know the Greek alphabet. #skills

Frat parties: Where do I begin? 

Yes, they are like in the movies. There's alcohol everywhere (only for the 21+ year olds, of course), the living room of the house turns into an improvised dance floor, there are people passed out in random corners of the house, some of the fraternities have concerts in their backyards (literally, a concert with a stage and lights), I once saw a massive blow-up dinosaur on a frat's balcony. These parties can get slightly weird sometimes. Beware.

This was only a small glimpse of the Greek life world from an outsider perspective, and the only thing I'm rushing is in the opposite direction.


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