Wednesday RDP Prompt: Sobriquet

St. Urs Fountain

I supposed it all finished in this fountain, but it began when my No. 2 son decided to join the students  high school union. He had graduated to the high school and in the Swiss high school there are student groups. They sit together now and again in their student restaurant and discuss student matters. There is also a uniform hat, which they wear when meeting and if a student gets some sort of special office they even have a more special hat. For a while my son was a “fox major” (translation by me from German) which meant that not only did he wear the usual cap with the badge in blue but at meetings he now had a fur hat with a fox tail, something like Davy Crockett. The student group colours were blue and gold. They had a repertoire of student songs which they sang on their evenings together, drinking a few many beers together. Beer was the national student drink.

And so after a while in the group he had qualified to have his official christening with his student name. Student friends never use their birth name, but address each other only by their student name. Before the christening the student has a special duty to perform to qualify properly. My son was dressed in the disco look standing in the market place and dancing to music from a radio with sunglasses. That was quite harmless, others had to climb a statue in town or something similar. So after this inauguration he was ready for the christening service.

This took place on a Saturday evening in town. There was a procession of his student friends, my son walking behind the chief student. He was dressed in a dressing gown over his swimming gear. They arrived at the fountain in town, the one always used for the christening ceremony in the photo. He climbed to the edge of the fountain, the student chief said a few words and when he announced his new name he was pushed into the fountain which was of course filled with water and he got his new name and from that day on he was known as Duke in his student group. They chose an english name as his mum (me) was english.

I remember the evening well, it was even raining which made no great difference, and I think it was some time in late Autumn, or early Winter. He was then about 16 years old and now we have almost 30 years later, but his student friends still call him Duke, only the students. After the high school days were finished he went on to study at the University, but of course he joined the student group in the University as well, and still known as Duke. Although he finished his studies a long while ago, he is still a member of the Swiss students union.

Wednesday RDP Prompt: Sobriquet

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