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Norwegian Authorities: No Running Naked and No Sex on Roundabouts, Please

© AP Photo / Mark LewisIn this photo taken May 6, 2017, teenagers dance and celebrate the end of their classes, in Aalgaard, Norway
In this photo taken May 6, 2017, teenagers dance and celebrate the end of their classes, in Aalgaard, Norway - Sputnik International
The Norwegian road authority's somewhat unusual plea is aimed at bringing law and order to the lengthy and unruly annual celebrations by secondary school students, which are often connected with a state of inebriation and public disturbances.

In an attempt to pacify the infamously rowdy and naughty celebrations by school students, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration has come out with handy pieces of advice that include pleas to refrain from engaging in intimate behavior on roundabouts or running naked on bridges on a dare for the sake of traffic safety.

Norway is about to enter a lengthy period of traditional festivities by upper secondary school pupils in their final semester, locally known as "russefeiring." The celebrations tend to start around April 20 and continue until May 17, Norway's national day.

During the festivities, students wearing colored overalls flock into cars, vans or buses and travel around their localities, with the most hardy ones carrying on for the whole month. The merriments, often described as the time of one's life, however, are often linked to drunkenness, unruly behavior and even accidents.

​The general level of raucousness is pushed upward by traditional challenges known as "russeknuter," which may vary from the hilarious to the illegal and downright dangerous, involving self-harm and are potentially lethal. The name literally translates as "graduation knots" due to a knot being tied on a student's graduation cap for each challenge successfully completed.

A list of 100 such challenges compiled by a local newspaper Ringsaker Blad, which involves an award for having protected sex on at least three different roundabouts, has prompted a strong reaction from Terje Moe Gustavsen, the director of the Norwegian Public Roads Authority.

"Graduation challenges are fine. A lot of fantasy is spent on thinking up funny and sometimes challenging tests. Seen from an 'adult' perspective, though, some of the rules might seem silly or weird, but it's meant as a way to express fun and celebration," Gustavsen wrote on the agency's website.

READ MORE: 'Mothers Have Wept': Will Norway's National Anthem Become Gender-Neutral?

Gustavsen has strongly advised against roundabout sex, albeit protected.

"Everyone knows that it is a traffic hazard for pedestrians to be in or around roundabouts," he wrote.

Another challenge that made the roads administration director see red involved a naked run over the 1.4 kilometer long Mjøsbrua bridge crossing Lake Mjøsa.

"While it probably isn't dangerous for a runner to be on the bridge without clothes, motorists could indeed get such a surprise once they see naked people on the bridge that they might forget they are driving," Gustavsen wrote.

​Gustavsen finished his heartfelt appeal by suggesting that there was plenty of other challenges to choose from, both in Ringsaker or elsewhere in the country, stressing that he hardly wants to be seen as a "killjoy or Aunt Sophie."

​The "russefeiring" tradition dates back to 1905 when distinctive caps were introduced as a sign of the graduates' acceptance into the system of higher education. This tradition, often seen a rite of passage into adulthood, has been featured in a number of songs and poems, including one by Norwegian Nobel Prize winner in literature Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson.

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