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Seasons Greetings from Unikum‘s Editorial Team!<br />

Studentavisen for Agder GRATIS | Desember 2023<br />


Last ned SiA<br />

Studentliv appen<br />

Last ned her<br />

.. og få full oversikt over hva som<br />

skjer på- og utenfor campus, samt<br />

flere eksklusive tilbud og fordeler.

LEDER<br />


The year is coming to an end, and<br />

maybe some of you are filled with<br />

dread for another year ending without<br />

having fulfilled your New Year’s<br />

Resolution, or others are relieved that<br />

with the new year (and semester),<br />

you can finally leave the exam stress<br />

behind you and enjoy a little break.<br />

For me, all of this is coming to an<br />

end, but also, my reign as editorin-chief.<br />

It’s been a wonderful and<br />

fantastic journey filled with wonder,<br />

glee, frustration, stress, defeats, and<br />

victories. It’s almost melancholic<br />

that it’s coming to an end, it feels like<br />

yesterday when I felt the excitement<br />

of holding the January edition in my<br />

hands, my very first issue. Alas, all<br />

good things must come to an end.<br />

Now, this is the season of gratitude,<br />

for everything we have and have had.<br />

With my final leader, I would like to<br />

extend my complete appreciation to<br />

my fantastic editorial team, to those<br />

who have joined me on this adventure<br />

during the spring semester and those<br />

who joined during the fall semester.<br />

Without you all, this job would not be<br />

as fun and rewarding as it has been,<br />

it would not be worth it. Together,<br />

we have made many great editions,<br />

with terrific articles, had so many fun<br />

meetings, and of course, all the social<br />

events which you guys have made<br />

into entertaining affairs. Thank you<br />

all, for coming along, encouraging me,<br />

challenging me, and most of all, made<br />

such a brilliant newspaper with me.<br />

But it doesn’t end there. I want to<br />

thank you, dear readers of Unikum,<br />

for your continued support. You may<br />

not think too much of this, but you<br />

guys don’t see the sheer elation when<br />

I tell the editorial team that we had to<br />

refill our magazine stand in Vrimle,<br />

the utter delight when I tell one of our<br />

writers that their article is one of the<br />

most clicked articles this week/month.<br />

When you pick up a magazine, when<br />

you read it, comment on it, talk with<br />

your friends about it, it brings us so<br />

much joy. And now, more than ever,<br />

we have more of you guys reading our<br />

magazine. Thank you all, for being here<br />

with us, supporting us, reading us, and<br />

most of all, enjoying our newspaper.<br />

And finally, thank you Unikum, for<br />

being a place for me. For being a<br />

place, I could develop myself as a<br />

writer, a place where I could meet<br />

some of the greatest and most<br />

pleasant people I ever talked to and<br />

for being a place where I feel at home.<br />

Thank you :)<br />


4 Battle of the Christmas Sodas<br />

6 UiA mister millioner i statsstøtte<br />

7 Christmas Gifts On a Budget<br />

9 Oppskrift: Doble havreflarn med sjokolade<br />

10 Short-story: Twisted Glow<br />

11 Stirred not shaken! A look at the stirred up<br />

debate about alcohol regulation in Norway<br />

14 10 at UiA: What is your favorite<br />

thing about the Holidays?<br />

15 How to Celebrate Christmas Alone<br />

16 Culture Calendar<br />

20 Edinburgh: a love letter<br />

25 Pit Stop<br />

26 Vintersykling 101 for nybegynnere<br />

28 Passive Aggressive Christmas Presents<br />

32 Poduniverset<br />

34 Poems<br />

35 Hunger Games: The Ballad of<br />

Songbirds and Snakes Review<br />

36 YATA Kristiansand Utforsker<br />

Luftforsvarets Skolesenter Kjevik<br />

38 Review: Super Mario RPG (2023)<br />

Tobias Klausen<br />

redaktor@unikumnett.no<br />

4843 1050<br />

UTGITT AV: Studentavisen Unikum, ved Universitetet i Agder<br />

POSTADRESSE: Serviceboks 422, 4604 Kristiansand S<br />

BESØKSADRESSE: Universitetsveien 24, 4630 Kristiansand S<br />

ORG.NR.: 984 544 677<br />

TELEFON: 911 45 962<br />

EPOST: redaktor@unikumnett.no<br />

NETTSIDE: unikumnett.no<br />

TWITTER: twitter.com/unikumnett<br />

FACEBOOK: facebook.com/studentavisenunikum<br />

INSTAGRAM: instagram.com/unikumnett<br />

Publisert November 2023<br />

Utgave nummer 10<br />

Unikum er studentavisen ved Universitetet i Agder og andre<br />

institusjoner tilknyttet Studentsamskipnaden i Agder. Avisen er<br />

politisk og religiøst uavhengig, og blir drevet på frivillig basis.<br />

Unikum følger Vær Varsom-plakaten og redaktørplakaten. Føler<br />

du deg urettferdig behandlet eller på noen måte uriktig fremstilt<br />

av Unikum, ber vi deg kontakte redaksjonen.<br />

Redaksjon:<br />


Tobias Klausen<br />


Nettredaktør<br />

Nyhetsredaktør<br />

Kulturredaktør<br />

Fotoredaktør<br />

Debattansvarlig<br />


Natalia Bogdanova<br />

FORSIDE:<br />

Foto: Anja Kathrine Laland Gyberg<br />

Anjali Mariampillai<br />

Natasha Agatha Wangui<br />

Randi Andersdotter<br />


Adam Zawadzk, Alexander Horpestad, Ángels Aguilera,<br />

Anjali Mariampillai, Aurora Trondsen Flatvoll, Halvor<br />

Nyhus Hagen, Henrike Jost, Mattias Johannessen,<br />

Michael Campbell, Natasha Agatha Wangui, Randi<br />

Andersdotter, Tobias Klausen, Vilde Hagen Svanberg<br />


Alice Soleng, Alexander Horpestad, Anjali Mariampillai,<br />

Natasha Agatha Wangui<br />

DESKEN:<br />

Àngels Aguilera, Adam Zawadzki, Alexander Horpestad, Alice<br />

Soleng, Anjali Mariampillai, Henrike Jost, Jakub Świerkocki,<br />

Michael Campbell, Natalia Bogdanova, Pål Øymoen, Tobias<br />

Klausen, Vilde Hagen Svanberg<br />


Adam Zawadzki, Alice Soleng, Ida Marie Bruun, Martin Hoftun,<br />

Michael Campbell, Silje Gullhav, Tobias Klausen, Vilde Hagen<br />

Svanberg, Åshild Magnesen<br />


Marion Bjørndal Søviknes<br />


Bjorvand & Co<br />

OPPLAG:<br />

300<br />

<strong>DESEMBER</strong> 2023 <strong>UNIKUM</strong> NR 10 3


Battle of the Christmas Sodas<br />

Alice Soleng<br />

Writer<br />

Photo Unikum // Alice Soleng; AdobeStock // Fotokvadrat<br />

With the holidays right around the corner, Unikum wanted to share one of its favourite things about the<br />

Norwegian Christmas, with some of our excellent exchange students. There are countless types of Christmas<br />

soda, with some special to specific locations in the country. Whether you enjoy red or brown Christmas soda the<br />

best, is up to personal taste. Three brave international students agreed to try five different kinds, rating them<br />

between 0 and 10. With 0 meaning “I threw up” and 10 being “I wanna have this every single day for the rest of<br />

my life”. On a cold November night, they were all gathered in the STA-building, and they were scarred for life.<br />

Test subjects:<br />

- Àngels Aguilera, education major, from Spain.<br />

- Michael Campbell, fine arts major, from England.<br />

- Wafa’a Selby, education, special needs major, from England.<br />

Foto: grans.no<br />

Grans Julebrus<br />

Ángels: It’s like liquid candy. I don’t<br />

really like sweet things, so this was not<br />

my favourite, and it tasted like medicine<br />

to me. 4/10<br />

Michael: It’s not as sweet as I had<br />

thought it would be, considering the<br />

smell. I thought that it smelled better<br />

than it tasted, and I was expecting a lot<br />

of flavour, but that wasn’t there. But I did<br />

like it. 6/10<br />

Wafa’a: I actually kind of liked this one.<br />

It smelt like this British treat we have in<br />

the UK, and it tasted a bit like candy cane.<br />

6,5/10<br />

Average: 5,5/10<br />

Ringenes Julebrus:<br />

Ángels: Oh no, absolutely not. This one<br />

is not for me. I think the vibe here was<br />

melted lollipop, so still too sweet for me.<br />

3/10.<br />

Michael: I felt like I was drinking<br />

medicine, and that’s not normally very<br />

pleasant. 4/10.<br />

Wafa’a: It’s giving strawberry. I wasn’t<br />

very fond of the aftertaste, it’s a bit too<br />

strong, and very carbonated. 4/10.<br />

Average: 3,6/10<br />


Sørlands Julebrus<br />

Ángels: It smells different. I feel like this<br />

tastes like what my grandma smells like.<br />

I can’t say zero since I didn’t throw up.<br />

1/10.<br />

Michael: This looks like apple juice or<br />

something. It tastes like a nursing home.<br />

This is from southern Norway? Oh, in that<br />

case we love it. 3/10.<br />

Wafa’a: Oh God, no. That was horrific.<br />

3/10.<br />

Average: 2,3/10<br />

Hamar Lillehammer Julebrus<br />

Ángels: This was fizzier, which took<br />

away from the taste, which I appreciated.<br />

4/10.<br />

Michael: It’s a fizzier version of the other<br />

one, more bearable. A full body reaction<br />

to it. The experience was enhanced by the<br />

fizziness. 5/10.<br />

Wafa’a: It was quite strong, and more<br />

fizzier. 4,5/10.<br />

Average: 4,5/10<br />

CB Julebrus<br />

Ángels: Completely different smell to all<br />

of them. I’m not completely sure what’s<br />

going on. What is this? This one was a<br />

whole experience in itself. Christmas soda<br />

is not for me, and neither is this one. 3/10.<br />

Michael: It smells like soap. This one was<br />

a bit like a five-course meal, with all the<br />

different flavours going on. But the cook<br />

doesn’t really know how to cook. 3/10.<br />

Wafa’a: It’s definitely unique, there’s<br />

kind of like a taste of seasonings in there.<br />

Maybe cardamom. It’s different from the<br />

other, doesn’t mean I like it though. This is<br />

not enjoyable for me. 2,5/10.<br />

Average: 2,8/10<br />

And the winner is…….<br />

Grans julebrus!<br />

It’s clear that our exchange students weren’t the biggest fans of Christmas soda, at<br />

least not the ones we tried. Two of my favourites (Hansa & Lerum) were sadly not<br />

available at the nearest store. So, if your favourite was not included, don’t worry. You<br />

can still force some exchange students to try it out, but maybe not these three. And if<br />

your favourite was included, but rated badly? You know where our office is…….<br />

<strong>DESEMBER</strong> 2023 <strong>UNIKUM</strong> NR 10 5

AK TUELT<br />

UiA mister millioner i statsstøtte<br />

Natasha Agatha Wangui<br />

Nyhetsredaktør<br />

Foto: Unikum // Natasha Kamanzi<br />

6. oktober 2023 la Regjeringen fram forslag<br />

til statsbudsjettet for 2024. Den foreslår<br />

at UiA vil få 10 nye studieplasser i IKT<br />

og en tildeling på 1,8 milliarder kroner<br />

i rammebevilgning. Men likevel mister<br />

universitetet hele 20 millioner kroner. Dette<br />

skriver kommunikasjonsdirektør ved UiA,<br />

Øivind Dagsvik Eskedal, på universitetets<br />

hjemmeside.<br />

Flere nye studentboliger<br />

Unikum har møtt den nye ordføreren i<br />

Høyre og tidligere student ved UiA, Mathias<br />

Bernander. Til studentavisen forteller<br />

han om hva slags planer han har tenkt å<br />

gjennomføre for å styrke universitetet de to<br />

neste årene.<br />

- Universitetet i Agder og de 10.500<br />

studentene som studerer i Kristiansand<br />

er utrolig viktig for byen. Studentmassen<br />

utgjør ca. ni prosent av alle som bor her.<br />

Kristiansand skal være en attraktiv by å være<br />

student i og Universitetsby Samarbeidet<br />

er viktig for å styrke dette arbeidet. Jeg er<br />

glad for at flere studentboliger er under<br />

bygging og vil bidra til å tilrettelegge og<br />

tilgjengeliggjøre byen for studentene i<br />

enda større grad. Jeg hadde gleden av å<br />

være med på åpningen av studenthuset,<br />

og jeg gleder meg til å følge utviklingen<br />

av Kraftverket/BARE studenthus, sier den<br />

ferske ordføreren til studentavisen.<br />

6<br />

Viktig samarbeid mellom Kommune og<br />

Universitet<br />

Bernander er realistisk når det gjelder<br />

budsjett utfordringene i årene som<br />

kommer, spesielt innenfor UH-sektoren.<br />

Han forklarer at strammere rammer krever<br />

tøffe prioriteringer og er fast bestemt på<br />

å opprettholde et nært samarbeid med<br />

UiA for å sikre nødvendige ressurser og<br />

praksisplasser.<br />

- Det er strammere rammer i alle sektorer<br />

i årene som kommer, også i UH-sektoren.<br />

Det betyr overalt at det kreves tøffere<br />

prioriteringer. Agder er avhengige av<br />

kompetansen UiA leverer til regionen. Og<br />

som kommune ønsker vi å fortsette å spille<br />

på lag slik at universitetet får praksisplasser<br />

og det samarbeidet de trenger for å levere<br />

gode utdanninger, forteller han.<br />

Støtte til UiA-satsinger<br />

Videre understreker ordføreren viktigheten<br />

av å støtte UiA i sine nasjonale prioriteringer.<br />

Han fremhever spesielt satsingen på<br />

etableringen av profesjonsstudiet i<br />

psykologi som en betydningsfull investering<br />

i regionens psykiske helsetjenester.<br />

- Det er viktig for meg å støtte opp om UiA<br />

sine satsinger og prioriteringer inn mot<br />

nasjonale myndigheter. Akkurat nå er<br />

satsingen på å etablere profesjonsstudiet<br />

i psykologi en slik satsing. Dette er en<br />

tung satsing UiA har forsøkt å etablere<br />

gjennom mange år. Og det er en satsing<br />

som ved etablering vil heve kompetansen<br />

og kvaliteten i de psykiske helsetjenester i<br />

regionen, forklarer han.<br />

Kvalitetsforbedring på Campus<br />

Når det gjelder å forbedre kvaliteten<br />

på høyere utdanning i Agder, forteller<br />

Bernander at det er universitetet og deres<br />

ansatte som har hovedansvaret.<br />

Han ser imidlertid på kommunens rolle<br />

som å sikre en attraktiv by der folk ønsker<br />

å bosette seg.<br />

- Det er universitetet selv og deres ansatte<br />

som er de beste til å sikre høy kvalitet i<br />

utdanningene de leverer. Vår jobb som<br />

vertskommune for universitetet er å sikre<br />

en attraktiv by der folk ønsker å bosette seg.<br />

Dette er både viktig for at universitetet skal<br />

evne å tiltrekke seg folkene og kompetansen<br />

de trenger for å levere forskning og<br />

utdanning av høy kvalitet. Og det er viktig<br />

for at flest mulig studenter ønsker å bli igjen<br />

i regionen etter endt utdanning. Det er flott<br />

at rundt halvparten av studentene ved UiA<br />

kommer fra regionen og halvparten utenfra<br />

Agder. Så skal vi bidra til å løfte frem det<br />

spennende arbeids- og næringslivet som er<br />

her som sikrer at flest mulig etablerer seg i<br />

regionen etter studiene.

Christmas Gifts On a Budget<br />

TIPS<br />

Illustration: freepik // freepik<br />

Randi Andersdotter<br />

Culture Editor<br />

Christmas is soon right around the corner, and a lot of students fear that they won’t have enough time or money for Christmas presents.<br />

But fret not, dear reader, Christmas gifts do not need to be overly expensive! Here are some of the ideas that we collected for cheap and<br />

affordable gifts for you and your broke student friends!<br />

Write a personal coupon! It could be anything from doing an act of service for a loved one, or a small experience together!<br />

Acts of service gift ideas:<br />

• Babysitting.<br />

• Do weekly groceries.<br />

• Help cleaning the kitchen/living room/car.<br />

• Build Ikea furniture.<br />

• Shovel snow.<br />

Activities to do together:<br />

• Have a baking day.<br />

• Go on a hike with a bonfire.<br />

• A trip to a cabin.<br />

• Go ice skating in the city.<br />

• Movie night at home, with popcorn included ;)<br />

If you are into arts, crafts or perhaps baking, why<br />

not make something creative for this Christmas!<br />

Something homemade:<br />

• Christmas cards.<br />

• A drawing or painting.<br />

• A knitted or crocheted scarf.<br />

• A box with baked goods! Christmas cookies like<br />

gingerbread is always appreciated!<br />

• Homemade scrub recipe for hands & lip in a jar.<br />

• Taco seasoning, already mixed in a jar.<br />

• Chocolate chip cake/mug cake.<br />

And then we have the<br />

practical/useful gifts:<br />

• Candles.<br />

• Tea/coffee.<br />

• Soap.<br />

• Socks.<br />

• Umbrella.<br />

• Notebooks/stationaries/art supplies.<br />

• Extra batteries. You never know<br />

when you need them!<br />

<strong>DESEMBER</strong> 2023 <strong>UNIKUM</strong> NR 10 7

KRISTIANSAND–HIRTSHALS | 3 timer og 15 minutter<br />





FRA 0,–<br />

*<br />


KRS-SH23-103<br />


Kyllingbryst<br />

2 kg, frys<br />

Øvrige dager 179 90<br />

KUN<br />

149 90<br />

2 KG<br />

Indrefilet av svin<br />

400-500 g, frys<br />

Øvrige dager 99 90<br />

KUN<br />

79 90<br />

PR KG<br />

KUN<br />

299 90<br />

PR KG<br />

Indrefilet av storfe<br />

900–1200 g, frys<br />

Øvrige dager 349 90<br />

KUN<br />

89 90<br />

PR KG<br />

Bacon<br />

900 g, kjøl<br />

Øvrige dager 99 90<br />

Andeconfit<br />

1240 g<br />

899,– | Spar 369,-<br />

269 90<br />

PR STK<br />

Julebuffet med drikke<br />

Øvrige dager 349,-/399,-<br />

FRA<br />

249,-<br />

colorline.no | 22 94 42 00<br />

Ved bestilling på terminal og telefon tilkommer servicehonorar<br />

på terminal 70,–<br />

Hurtig og komfortabelt til Danmark<br />

Ikke-medlemmer fra 50,- per person. Ta med bil fra 190,-. Tur/retur samme dag. Bestilles tidligst 14 dager før avreise. Spesielle betingelser gjelder.<br />


KULTUR<br />



Doble havreflarn<br />

med sjokolade<br />

Illustrasjon: freepik // freepik<br />

Alexander Horpestad<br />

Skribent<br />

Endelig er juletiden her. Som student er alt dyrt, og dermed<br />

er også julekaker dyrt. Havreflarn med sjokolade er enkle og<br />

billige julekaker å lage, i tillegg smaker de himmelsk. For å si<br />

det slik, tok ikke lang tid før de jeg lagde ble spist opp. Det er<br />

så lett, at til og med den mest klumsete klarer å lage dette ;)<br />

Foto: Unikum // Alexander Horpestad<br />

Ingredienser<br />

• 2 små eller ett stort egg<br />

• 125 g sukker (kan økes<br />

eller senkes litt om du vil<br />

justere søtheten :p)<br />

• 1 ts bakepulver<br />

• 1 ss hvetemel<br />

• 75g smør<br />

•100g lettkokte havregryn<br />

(kan mengde justeres<br />

litt uten å endre hele<br />

oppskriften) vaniljesukker<br />

• Sjokolade: 200g mørk<br />

kokesjokolade (eller<br />

sjokolade av ditt valg)<br />

Fremgangsmåte<br />

1. Sett ovnen på 190 grader celsius<br />

2. Pisk eggene, og bland litt og litt sukker inn<br />

når du pisker for å lage eggedosis.<br />

3. Tilsett bakepulver og mel, deretter smelt smøret og tilsett<br />

det, før du tilsetter havregrynene (må spesifisere havregryn og<br />

ikke havremel, for vet noen av dere der ute ikke kan bake)<br />

4. Bruk teskjeer for å lage klatter på bakepapir, som ligger på<br />

ett stekebrett. Ha 5-6 på hvert brett, for de flyter utover.<br />

5. Sett kakene i ovnen, hvor du venter ca. 7-8 min<br />

til de er brune langs kantene, og lyse i midten. Ikke<br />

la dem være for lyse, men heller ikke svidd!<br />

6.Ta dem ut av ovnen, og la dem kjøle seg ned på stekeplaten.<br />

7. Smelt sjokoladen, og smør den mellom to og to havreflarn.<br />

Så dypp kanten av havreflarnene i sjokoladen.<br />

8.Sett dem i kjøleskapet til sjokoladen er stiv. Voila, da har<br />

du sjokoladeflarn, og kan begynne å feite deg opp til jul.<br />

GOD JUL :-) !!!<br />

<strong>DESEMBER</strong> NOVEMBER 2023 <strong>UNIKUM</strong> NR NR 109 9


Twisted Glow<br />

Photo: Freepik // rawpixel.com<br />

Aurora Trondsen Flatvoll<br />

Writer<br />

A big bang and an earth-shaking crash came from the<br />

kitchen. Nick, clinging to a half-unraveled string of twinkling<br />

lights, raised an eyebrow, “Guess we have a poltergeist who<br />

doesn´t like our taste in ornaments, huh?” April laughed as<br />

she approached the kitchen, convinced that the sound was<br />

the cat from next door sneaking in again.<br />

The night had begun innocently enough, surrounded by old<br />

decorations and tangled in tinsel; four friends could be found<br />

laughing. The air was thick with the scent of gingerbread and<br />

hot chocolate. In the middle of the hanging of ornaments,<br />

April took up the role of the unofficial leader, directing<br />

the hanging of mistletoe and the strategic placements of<br />

stockings. Elsa, the resident‘s jokester, couldn´t resist the<br />

opportunity to turn every decoration into a punchline. While<br />

Nick and Caiti, ever the sensible duo, diligently wrapped<br />

garlands and kept the holiday chaos in check.<br />

In the kitchen, however, there was no cat to be seen. Only<br />

shards of broken plates and overturned chairs scattered<br />

around the floor. “Guys, you need to see this,” The others<br />

joined April by the kitchen entrance, and the four girls<br />

looked confused at the mess in front of them. The silence<br />

hung in the air, except for the distant ticking of the old clock<br />

over the fireplace. The girls looked at each other, wondering<br />

if it was the neighbor‘s cat or something else. “I think the cat<br />

is having a bad day,” Elsa muttered as they ventured into the<br />

corridor. The sound of glass breaking and hitting the floor,<br />

lured them in the direction of Elsa and April‘s bedroom.<br />

The room was crimson red. Bloodstains painted the walls,<br />

forming patterns of a macabre dance. Without a word, the<br />

girls slowly backed out of the room. Fear clung to them, and<br />

their laughter, now just a distant memory, could be heard<br />

echoing through the desolated halls. Caiti rushed to the front<br />

door, only to find it locked. Despite her repeated attempts to<br />

unlock it, the door remained sealed, like every window and<br />

back entrance in the house.<br />

Their safe home had turned into a prison, where the walls<br />

conspired against their escape. The friends huddled together,<br />

convinced that an intruder had broken into their home. Nick<br />

clutched a makeshift weapon, a sparkly nutcracker. She gave<br />

it some practice swings “This may be handy,” she said while<br />

they steeled themselves to confront the banging noises that<br />

echoed through the corridor.<br />

They approached Nick and Caiti´s bedroom. The once<br />

familiar room was also like the other one, drenched in blood.<br />

Their adrenaline pumped, and anger and panic flushed over<br />

them. They decided to split into pairs to cover more of the<br />

house faster. Elsa and Caiti investigated the bathroom and<br />

washroom, only to find more broken glass and furniture<br />

scattered around. Searching through the basement didn´t<br />

solve anything either.<br />

Elsa and Caiti started to believe that someone was pranking<br />

them. “There´s no one here,” Nick said. She and April came<br />

around the corner from the basement. The lights started<br />

flickering. Paralyzed, they watched the darkness swallow the<br />

house, leaving only the colored lights from the living room.<br />

The Christmas decorations looked uncanny in the dark,<br />

Casting long shadows in the faded light. Nick, holding on to<br />

the Nutcracker, led the other girls as they began navigating<br />

their way toward the light. The corridor was suddenly longer,<br />

and the floor felt like a treadmill. After what felt like hours,<br />

they reached the living room door. The air had gone cold,<br />

and the house was quiet. The only sound was the continued<br />

ticking of the old clock. The colorful Christmas lights made<br />

every piece of furniture distorted and faded. The lights were<br />

twisted and tangled around something big in the middle of<br />

the room. As they approached, the vivid lights revealed four<br />

lifeless bodies. The old clock started to ring, and a collective<br />

panic struck the girls as they looked closer at the bodies,<br />

realizing the truth. The dead bodies, tangled in the colorful<br />

lights, were their own.<br />

A big bang and an earth-shaking crash came from the<br />

kitchen. Nick, clinging to a half-unraveled string of twinkling<br />

lights, raised an eyebrow, “Guess we have a poltergeist who<br />

doesn´t like our taste in ornaments, huh?” April laughed as<br />

she approached the kitchen, convinced that the sound was<br />

the cat from next door sneaking in again.<br />


DEBATE<br />

Stirred not shaken!<br />

A look at the STIRRED UP debate<br />

about ALCOHOL regulation in Norway<br />

Henrike Jost<br />

Writer<br />

Illustration: AdobeStock // Jeff<br />

For those of us who celebrate, the holidays are right around the<br />

corner, which means endless Christmas and New Year parties with<br />

an even more endless flow of alcohol. While these parties can mean<br />

lots of fun, for others they mean a heightened risk of sexual assault.<br />

These cases are not isolated incidents. One tenth of the Norwegian<br />

workforce have either been sexually assaulted themselves or know<br />

someone who has been subject to such inappropriate behavior at<br />

their company’s Christmas party (Bjørnson Hagen, 2022). To blame<br />

is often the large flow of alcohol that are served and consumed at<br />

the festivities. Alcohol is not only deeply ingrained in Norwegian<br />

and other Nordic countries’ Christmas traditions, but it is said to be<br />

generally interwoven with their cultures for centuries.<br />

The dangers of the widespread heavy drinking patterns across<br />

populations in the North have been used to justify strict regulations<br />

on alcohol production, selling, and consumption that Norway and<br />

its fellow Nordic countries are well known for today. The question<br />

is: Are these stringent rules justified and effective in what they are<br />

trying to achieve? The most recent SHoT study (Studentenes Helseog<br />

Trivselsundersøkelse) has, for example, shown that more than<br />

half of the male university students and 4 in 10 female students<br />

exhibit risky drinking patterns (Heradstveit et al., 2022) and, as<br />

such render the regulatory approach to appear ineffective. So let’s<br />

take a look at the Norwegian approach to regulating alcohol, its<br />

history, and its pros and cons to see whether it actually works and<br />

prevents societal harm or if it is unnecessarily harsh.<br />

A shot of history<br />

The strict regulations on alcohol consumption date back to heavy<br />

alcohol use in the 19th century, reaching its peak in the 1830s with<br />

13 liters of alcohol per person (Hauge, 1996). The general public<br />

saw it necessary to reduce the harm caused by alcohol and started<br />

to call for stricter regulations (WHO, 2023; Karlsson & Österberg,<br />

2003).<br />

In 1919, the Alcohol Prohibition Act was introduced, which<br />

prohibited the consumption and production of the majority of<br />

spirits. However, trade quarrels with wine-exporting countries,<br />

like France and Spain, caused its demise 8 years later (Johansen,<br />

2013).<br />

The Alcohol Act that is in force today was implemented in 1990s<br />

(Karlsson & Österberg, 2003). Its main objective remains to be the<br />

same as the initial approach to alcohol regulation: to reduce health<br />

and societal harm caused by alcohol. The new act tries to reconcile<br />

this goal while also allowing citizens to choose whether they want<br />

to consume liquor (Götestam & Röstum, 1983).<br />

Today’s offer: the legal cocktail<br />

It is widely held that the way regulating alcohol is approached<br />

has significant impact upon how much harm is caused by liquor<br />

(Götestam & Röstum, 1983). Therefore, the government opted for a<br />

rather strict approach to prevent societal and health related harms<br />

such as accidents caused by drunk driving, as well as alcoholism,<br />

and over 200 other diseases and conditions like cancer (WHO,<br />

2023).<br />

To reduce consumption, only alcoholic beverages below a 4.7%<br />

alcohol concentration can be sold in normal stores. Beverages<br />

above that percentage can only be bought at Vinmonopolet, a store<br />

owned by the state. Through these shops and through the state<br />

monopoly on alcohol, the government can control the access to<br />

purchasing alcohol, its price, as well as which kind of alcohol is<br />

sold (WHO, 2023). The beverages are also highly taxed to further<br />

disincentivize alcohol consumption (Karlsson & Österberg, 2003). A<br />

prohibition of advertising alcohol also falls under the tight alcohol<br />

regulation in Norway (Götestam & Röstum, 1983). In addition,<br />

a license is needed to sell alcohol. Its issuance is decided by the<br />

municipalities (Karlsson & Österberg, 2003).<br />

There are not only restrictions to where alcohol can be bought, but<br />

also for when. Low-percentage alcohol can only be sold between<br />

08:00-20:00 on weekdays, and 08:00-18:00 on Saturdays and the day<br />

before public holidays. Vinmonopolet is only open between 10:00-<br />

<strong>DESEMBER</strong> 2023 <strong>UNIKUM</strong> NR 10 11

18:00 during the week and from 10:00-16:00 on Saturdays and<br />

the day prior to national holidays. No alcohol of any kind can be<br />

purchased on Sundays in either grocery stores or at Vinmonopolet<br />

(Act on the Sale of Alcoholic Beverages, Etc. (Alcohol Act), 1990).<br />

As most other countries, Norway also has a legal drinking age.<br />

Buying alcohol is legal from the age of 18 onwards in regard to<br />

alcohol with a lower alcohol percentage than 22%. In order to<br />

purchase alcohol with a higher alcohol percentage one needs to be<br />

older than 20 (Act on the Sale of Alcoholic Beverages, Etc. (Alcohol<br />

Act), 1990).<br />

Drinking out in public, such as in public squares or in parks is also<br />

prohibited by law, though it is rarely enforced (Act on the Sale of<br />

Alcoholic Beverages, Etc. (Alcohol Act), 1990).<br />

Norway has one of the strictest blood alcohol limits in regard to<br />

driving to prevent accidents and reduce possible harm. In order<br />

for driving under the influence to be considered and punishable,<br />

the blood alcohol threshold is set at 0.02% (Karlsson & Österberg,<br />

2003).<br />

Lastly, education plays a crucial role in showing the harms and<br />

effects of unsafe alcohol consumption. Educational programs<br />

about these issues are implemented in Norwegian public schools<br />

to enlighten young people on the effects of alcohol and discourage<br />

them from engaging in unsafe and risky consumption patterns<br />

(Karlsson & Österberg, 2003). It is important to note, that young<br />

people are among the heaviest drinkers, hence the need for early<br />

interventions (Karlsson & Österberg, 2003).<br />

Despite all of these measures, highly intoxicated people are not a<br />

rare sight at parties or concerts, with many Norwegians stocking up<br />

on alcohol at airport and ferry duty-free shops, and participating in<br />

traditions such as russefeiring or julebord that are known for their<br />

large flow of alcohol. Therefore, the question needs to be asked:<br />

Are these stringent regulations actually effective? Let us look at the<br />

pros and cons.<br />

To prohibit or not to prohibit<br />

To start of with a strong pro argument, it should be noted that<br />

Norway has one of the lowest alcohol consumption rates among<br />

adults in Europe, with an average of 7.4 liters per person (OECD,<br />

n.d.). By comparison, Latvia’s rates are among the highest in<br />

Europe with adults consuming almost double the amount of<br />

alcohol at 12.1 liters per person (OECD, n.d.). Generally, it can be<br />

said that countries with rather strict approaches, such as Sweden<br />

and Iceland, for example, have a lower alcohol consumption than<br />

countries with looser regulations, like Latvia or Germany (OECD,<br />

n.d.). Thus, the statistics seem to suggest that a stricter approach,<br />

such as Norway’s, to regulating alcohol is indeed effective in<br />

reducing alcohol consumption among adults.<br />

Yet, 5-8% of Norwegian citizens are reported to be alcoholics or<br />

consume alcohol in a harmful way (Skjelbred & Thoresen Lønnes,<br />

2023). Moreover, as mentioned above, in the student population,<br />

these numbers are even higher (Karlsson & Österberg, 2003). In<br />

Germany, the number of alcoholics and individuals consuming<br />

alcohol in a harmful manner is around 11% (Federal Ministry<br />

of Health, 2023). While the share of alcoholics is indeed bigger<br />

in Germany than it is in Norway, the difference is not that great.<br />

Nevertheless, is it not worth it to prevent even just a single person<br />

more from getting cancer or to save a single individual from a fatal<br />

drunk driving accident?<br />

Through the state monopoly, the government is able to link the<br />

production and sale of alcohol with health services, rather than<br />

leaving it to corporations that prioritize generating high profits<br />

without regard for the societal and health harms caused by their<br />

products (Karlsson & Österberg, 2003). However, this of course<br />

reduces the necessity for companies to come up with innovative<br />

products since there is no pressure to have an economic edge<br />

over the other competitors. Furthermore, small businesses might<br />

struggle under the limited market access which could potentially<br />

lead to a strengthened economy in particular areas and generate<br />

new jobs.<br />

We know that alcohol is causing both societal harm and health<br />

related harm. Is it then not fitting that selling alcohol is monopolized<br />

by the state to maintain control about how much alcohol is on the<br />

market, and that the revenue from selling alcohol is put back into<br />

healthcare and education to provide better social services and<br />

tackle the societal and health issues that are caused by alcohol<br />

consumption (WHO, 2023)?<br />

The revenue can then be used to offer programs and services<br />

focused on tackling the root causes of harmful alcohol consumption<br />

and alcoholism, such as mental health issues. Furthermore, the<br />

high taxation of alcohol is more likely to be supported by the public<br />

if the generated income is used to fund projects with the intention<br />

of facilitating the welfare of all citizens.<br />

However, the high taxes on alcohol can also lead to unwanted side<br />

effects such as a flourishing black market on which smuggled or<br />

home-produced alcohol is sold. These kinds of alcohol may cause<br />

health implications and can cause harm to consumers beyond the<br />

usual side effects of alcohol. Additionally, high taxation will mostly<br />

affect individuals with lower incomes so that they will be the ones<br />

who are more likely to produce alcohol themselves or buy it on the<br />

black market, thereby endangering themselves to potential harm.<br />

Through the state monopoly the high quality of products can be<br />

ensured which is crucial, but if the high prices and the controlled<br />

availability is leading to a flourishing black market with low quality<br />

products, those efforts might be ultimately jeopardized.<br />

Lastly, some may argue that the regulations go a little too far and<br />

limit the citizens’ freedom of choice. These critics argue that it is<br />

not the government’s responsibility to coddle its citizens and tell<br />

them what to or what to not consume. Instead, it should be left to<br />

the people to decide whether and how much alcohol they want to<br />

drink.<br />


My final shot<br />

To sum up, Norway has traditionally opted for strict alcohol regulations and even prohibited most beverages during the early 1910s<br />

and 1920s. According to the statistics, Norway does indeed manage to discourage drinking, as is reflected in one of the lowest alcohol<br />

consumption rates among European countries. However, the SHoT study has shown that a large number of the Norwegian student<br />

population are struggling with responsible alcohol consumption despite the strict regulatory approach.<br />

While linking the revenue of selling alcohol to the welfare system is in my opinion a good approach that should be implemented more<br />

widely across countries, I am not entirely convinced that the harsh regulations, especially regarding opening hours and the prohibition<br />

of consuming alcohol in public places, are the best solutions. Such measures may actually increase the alcohol consumption from<br />

black markets and incentivize the production of homemade alcohol which can be detrimental to health and contradict the goals of the<br />

Alcohol Act. Don’t get me wrong, alcohol can have negative side effects and these should not be dismissed, and awareness campaigns<br />

are important in this regard, but I do believe that the more you restrict something, the more interesting it becomes and as long as people<br />

want to drink alcohol they will find a way to do so and will not be disincentivized by harsh regulations.<br />

References<br />

Act on the Sale of Alcoholic Beverages, etc. (Alcohol Act), (1990).<br />

Bjørnson Hagen, H. (2022, December 6). Flere blir seksuelt trakassert på julebord. Dette gjør du hvis det skjer. Dagsavisen.<br />

Federal Ministry of Health. (2023, September 11). Alkohol. Federal Ministry of Health.<br />

Götestam, K. G., & Röstum, O. (1983). Alcohol Control Policy in the Nordic Countries (Denmark, Finland,<br />

Norway, Sweden, Iceland). In P. M. Miller & T. D. Nirenberg (Eds.), Prevention of Alcohol Abuse.<br />

Hauge, R. (1996). Alkohol i norsk historie. Norsk Epidemiologi, 6(1), 13–21.<br />

Hauge, R., & Lohiniva, R. J. B. L. (2001). Bevillingssystemet som alkoholpolitisk virkemiddel: en<br />

evaluering av endringene i alkoholloven i 1997. Statens institutt for rusmiddelforskning.<br />

Heradstveit, O., Sivertsen, B., Lønning, K.-J., & Skogen, J. C. (2022). The Extent of Alcohol-Related Problems Among College<br />

and University Students in Norway Prior to and During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Frontiers in Public Health, 10.<br />

Johansen, P. O. (2013). The Norwegian Alcohol Prohibition; A Failure. Journal of<br />

Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention, 14(S1).<br />

Johansen, T. O. M. (2023, November 22). Nordiske råd sier null alkohol – vurderer endringer i Norge. NRK.<br />

Karlsson, T., & Österberg, E. (2003). Norway. In E. Österberg & T. Karlsson (Eds.), Alcohol<br />

Policies in EU Member States and Norway: A Collection of Country Reports.<br />

OECD. (n.d.). Alcohol consumption among adults. OECDiLibrary.<br />

Skjelbred, G. E., & Thoresen Lønnes, S. (2023, November 16). Mener flere bør vurdere alkoholfrie julebord: – Redd for å bli trigga. NRK.<br />

WHO. (2023, June 30). Reducing alcohol consumption, the Nordic way: alcohol monopolies, marketing bans and higher taxation. WHO.<br />

<strong>DESEMBER</strong> 2023 <strong>UNIKUM</strong> NR 10 13


10 at UiA: What is your<br />

FAVORITE thing about the Holidays?<br />

Àngels Aguilera<br />

Writer<br />

Illustration: Freepik // Freepik, brgfx,<br />

Photo: Unikum // Àngels Aguilera, private<br />

Nicoletta Perugino (Marketing)<br />

I love spending time with family and eating<br />

good food, but I also love to sing karaoke<br />

during the Holidays! Of course, we‘re not<br />

good singers, but it‘s really fun. I also enjoy<br />

decorating the Christmas tree with my mom.<br />

Julia Wenz (Teacher Education)<br />

My favorite thing about the Holidays is<br />

skiing! It‘s the only time I‘m free to do it.<br />

Petra Mitenberga (English Bachelor)<br />

The Holidays are an excuse to stay home<br />

with a hot cup of cocoa and watch Love<br />

Actually while it‘s snowing outside.<br />

Megan Smith (Global Development)<br />

The food! Especially mulled wine, which<br />

is a kind of wine with spices like orange<br />

and cinnamon, and it‘s really good!<br />

Johanna Hauzinger (Secondary Education)<br />

The pretty lights on the streets<br />

and the Christmas cookies!<br />

Aleksandra Nowak<br />

(Music business and management)<br />

When I think about the Christmas<br />

holidays, I think about the spirit! The<br />

lighting and decorations are so nice, and<br />

you can really feel the spirit. Also being<br />

with friends and family, of course!<br />

Signe Lefdal Hove (Sociology)<br />

To be honest, I just go home and do nothing,<br />

but I guess it‘s nice to be able to see my<br />

friends and family from back home.<br />

Jacqueline Tauninger<br />

(Teacher trainee secundary school -<br />

English & Philosophy and Psychology)<br />

Sharing and eating food with family!<br />

Rufo Garcia (Teacher Education)<br />

What I love about the Holidays is opening<br />

gifts that my family bought for me that I<br />

specifically asked for and acting surprised.<br />

Pernille Tønder (Political science)<br />

I like giving and receiving gifts. Also the<br />

food, of course, but my favorite thing<br />

are the stockings because my mom<br />

always fills them up with candy!<br />


How to Celebrate<br />

Christmas Alone<br />

TIPS<br />

Randi Andersdotter<br />

Culture Editor<br />

Illustration: AdobeStock // New Africa<br />

Christmas is one of the most magical times of the year where we get to spend<br />

time with our closest friends and family members. Unfortunately, this is not<br />

the case for everyone, especially for students that live far away from home.<br />

If this sounds like you, fret not, my dear! I have collected my little tips and<br />

tricks that hopefully will make this Christmas a bit better for you.<br />

Focus on planning things ahead, it’s only for a few weeks! When you are prepared<br />

mentally and emotionally, you will not feel as overwhelmed or stressed with<br />

everything going on around you when the Christmas spirit fully kicks in.<br />

Watch your favorite Christmas movies! They are a good distraction from the<br />

stressful holiday, but also just a cozy Christmas activity, preferably enjoyed<br />

snuggled up in a warm blanket with a cup of hot chocolate. I would recommend<br />

“The nightmare before Christmas”, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the<br />

Witch and the Wardrobe”, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “The Muppet’s<br />

Christmas Carol” and “The Lord of the Rings” series, just because ;).<br />

Check out what your city has to offer! Facebook is a good place for keeping up with<br />

what is happening near your area. Christmas markets, ice skating and concerts are<br />

some examples of free social activities. It is also worth checking out your local libraries<br />

and museums. They often have different types of social activities, like book and<br />

language cafes, workshops, and meet and greet with authors from far and wide.<br />

Create a diary! Writing about your feelings is a good emotional outlet and is a<br />

very accessible and affordable hobby. You can write down all your thoughts and<br />

feelings on a napkin, for all I care, whatever works for you! What is important<br />

is the writing and reflection that you do for yourself to clear your mind.<br />

Baking and cooking! It is a fun and relaxing activity! Goods like gingerbread<br />

cookies, Norwegian Christmas porridge, rice puffs, marzipan figurines,<br />

coconut macaroons, eggnog and mulled wine are highly recommended<br />

by the world’s health organization! (your mental health


culture doesn‘t have to<br />

cost an arm and a leg!<br />

Adam Zawadzki<br />

Writer<br />

Vilde Hagen Svanberg<br />

Writer<br />

Illustration: AdobeStock // Katsiaryna<br />

Photos: Kilden<br />

For those of you that don’t like the festive season, the last month of the calendar year is always somewhat<br />

of a challenge. While the thought of the impending avalanche of commercialisation (bordering on the<br />

fetishisation) of unnecessary materiality makes me pray for house binding diarrhoea almost as much as<br />

world peace, we should, at least for a moment, attempt to place these feelings of humbuggery in context.<br />

Consider this Christmas, therefore, an opportunity to purchase the experience itself rather than the paraphernalia<br />

that represents it. Surround yourself with all the music, lights and good food that Kristiansand has to offer, at the<br />

cinema, concert hall or ice rink in the town square, perhaps. For me, this is what Christmas is about: a magnificent<br />

communion. After four months of hard work, gift yourself the present and share it with the new friends that you’ve<br />

made here. Try to enjoy the moment with the people that made it, as that, I believe, is infinitely more valuable.<br />


Culture calendar for students<br />

07.12 - 18.01<br />


What: Improtorsdag<br />

Where: Teateret<br />

When: Thursday 14 December<br />

Price: Free<br />

MUSIC<br />

What: Christmas concert with<br />

Studinekoret Lady Klukk & Mannskoret<br />

Quantum<br />

Where: Oddernes church<br />

When: Friday 8 December, kl 19:00<br />

Price: Free<br />

What: Oslo Gospel Choir – En Stjerne<br />

Skinner I Natt (A Star Shines in the Night)<br />

Where: Concert Hall, Kilden<br />

When: Friday 8 December, 18:00<br />

Price: 495<br />

What: Symfonica<br />

Where: Multi-Hall, Kilden<br />

When: Friday 8 December, 18:30 and<br />

21:00<br />

Price: 420<br />

What: Natten Er Lang – Julekonsert Med<br />

Mannskoret Gaasehud Og Gjester<br />

(The Night Is Long – Christmas Concert<br />

with The Male Choir Gaasehud And<br />

Guests)<br />

Where: Concert Hall, Kilden<br />

When: Saturday 9 December, 18:00<br />

Price: 420<br />

What: Julekonsert med Alejandro<br />

Fuentes, Chris Medina & Eirik Næss<br />

When: Monday 11 December<br />

Where: Kristiansand Domkirke<br />

Price: 275/555<br />

What: Christmas with Nordic Tenors<br />

Where: Concert Hall, Kilden<br />

When: Thursday 14 December, 18:00<br />

Price: 575<br />

What: Julekonsert Med Kilden<br />

Vokalensemble<br />

(Christmas Concert with Kilden<br />

Vokalensemble)<br />

Where: Domkirken (Cathedral)<br />

When: Thursday 14 December, 19:00<br />

Price: 150 – 300<br />

What: Julekonsert Secret Garden<br />

(Christmas Concert Secret Garden)<br />

Where: Concert Hall, Kilden<br />

When: Friday 15 December, 18:00 and<br />

20:30<br />

Price: 595<br />

What: Swingende Jul Med Christianssand<br />

Storband Og Solholmen Skoles Barnekor<br />

(Swinging Christmas with Christianssand<br />

Big Band And Solholmen School<br />

Children‘s Choir)<br />

Where: Multi-hall, Kilden<br />

When: Friday 15 December, 19:00<br />

Price: 150 – 250<br />

What: DJ Friendly<br />

Where: Vaktbua<br />

When: Saturday 30 December<br />

Price: 100<br />

What: Nyttårskonserten 2024 (New<br />

Year’s Concert 2024)<br />

Kristiansand<br />

Symfoniorkester<br />

(Symphony Orchestra)<br />

Where: Concert Hall, Kilden<br />

When: Thursday 4 and Friday 5 January,<br />

19:30<br />

Price: 150 – 525<br />

What: Midnight Machine<br />

Where: Vaktbua<br />

When: Friday 12 January<br />

Price: 170/220<br />

CINEMA<br />

What: Maestro<br />

Where: Kristiansand kino<br />

When: Friday 8 December<br />

Price: TBC<br />

What: Ønske (Wish)<br />

Where: Kristiansand kino<br />

When: Friday 8 December<br />

Price: TBC<br />

What: Wonka<br />

Where: Kristiansand kino<br />

When Friday 8 December<br />

Price: TBC<br />

What: Florencia en el Amazonas (Florence<br />

in the Amazon) The Metropolitan Opera<br />

Where: Kristiansand kino<br />

When: Saturday 9 December<br />

Price: TBC<br />

What: Carol<br />

Where: Cinemateket<br />

When: Tuesday 12 December<br />

Price: 80<br />


Where: Cinemateket<br />

When: Wednesday 13 December<br />

Price: 80<br />

What: MOULIN ROUGE!<br />

Where: Cinemateket<br />

When: Thursday 14 December<br />

Price: 80<br />

<strong>DESEMBER</strong> 2023 <strong>UNIKUM</strong> NR 10 17

What: Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom<br />

Where: Kristiansand kino<br />

When: Wednesday 20 December<br />

Price: TBC<br />

What: Anyone But You<br />

Where: Kristiansand kino<br />

When: Monday 25 December<br />

Price: TBC<br />

What: Vertshuset The Old Oak<br />

Where: Kristiansand kino<br />

When: Monday 25 December<br />

Price: TBC<br />

What: Nabucco The Metropolitan Opera<br />

Where: Kristiansand kino<br />

When: Saturday 6 January<br />

Price: TBC<br />


What: Lørdagsuniversitetet - Disaster<br />

diplomacy in the Arctic – Evidence from<br />

Svalbard<br />

Where: Teateret<br />

When: Saturday 9 December<br />

Price: Free<br />

Language: English<br />

What: Hvordan lykkes med<br />

implementering? (How to succeed with<br />

implementing?)<br />

Where: Teams<br />

When: Thursday 14 December<br />

Price: Free<br />

OTHER<br />

What: Julegada (Christmas street)<br />

Where: Vennesla<br />

When: 9 – 16 December<br />

Price: Free<br />

What: Jul på Prestegården<br />

Where: Søgne gamle prestegård<br />

When: Sunday 10 December<br />

Price: Free<br />

What: Grimsvollen julemarked<br />

(Grimsvollen Christmas market)<br />

Where: Grimsvollen<br />

When: Sunday 10 December<br />

Price: Free<br />

What: 3D lightshow in Julebyen<br />

Where: Kristiansand Domkirke<br />

When: 11 – 23 December<br />

Price: Free<br />

What: Lattergalla IKAROS Jonna Støme<br />

Where: PM5 i Hunsfos<br />

Næringspark, Vennesla<br />

When: Friday 15 December<br />

Price: 330<br />

What: Klubb Skamløs (Club Shameless)<br />

Where: Teateret<br />

When: Saturday 30 December<br />

Price: Free<br />

What: Salsa Night<br />

Where: Håndverkeren<br />

When: Saturday 6 January<br />

Price: 150/200<br />

What: Folk Dance Course<br />

Where: Bul Kristiansand<br />

When: Mondays starting 15 January<br />

Price: free under 26 y.o.<br />

ART<br />

What: In Search of Memories -<br />

Vinterutstilling 2023-2024<br />

Where: Art Gallery Linn,<br />

Festningsgata 34<br />

When: 4 November – 3 February<br />

Price: Free<br />

What: Utstillingsåpning og Art Night –<br />

Hommage a Kjell Mardon Gunvaldsen<br />

Where: Søgne gamle prestegård<br />

When: Friday 8 December<br />

Price: Free<br />


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semester i utlandet?<br />

Hva med?<br />

• en uke på sommerskole eller praksis<br />

• digital utveksling med studenter fra hele Europa<br />

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Visste du at UiA er med i den europeiske universitetsalliansen FORTHEM?<br />

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erfaring – OGSÅ semesterutveksling<br />

Sjekk ut: uia.no/forthem<br />

og ta kontakt med<br />

forthem@uia.no<br />

<strong>DESEMBER</strong> NOVEMBER 2023 <strong>UNIKUM</strong> NR NR 10 9 19


Edinburgh:<br />

a love letter<br />

Anjali Mariampillai<br />

Web Editor<br />

Photo: Unikum// Anjali Mariampillai<br />

When I told the editor in chief that I would<br />

write an article about my solo trip, I didn’t<br />

expect that I would come back with so many<br />

mixed feelings to write about. I thought it<br />

would be a simple rundown of my trip and<br />

what I did, but at the Edinburgh airport I<br />

realized that my life had changed just a<br />

little. If you haven’t done a solo trip yet, this<br />

is your sign. Let’s dive in, shall we?<br />

Why did I do it?<br />

This year has been a rough one to say the<br />

least. I have had many good moments,<br />

wins and memories, but it has been an<br />

exhausting year, mentally and physically.<br />

I was tired and run down and I felt really<br />

out of control. Nothing felt in my control,<br />

and it just felt like life was passing me by.<br />

In shorter terms, I was having a bit of an<br />

existential crisis. Some people cut their<br />

bangs, some people start stress-knitting,<br />

some people talk it out with a friend. Me, on<br />

the other hand, I decided to spontaneously<br />

book a solo trip. Any sane person would do<br />

that right? Yeah? No. I just had a strong urge<br />

to run away from everyone and everything,<br />

so that’s exactly what I did. On the 1st of<br />

October, I booked the plane tickets and an<br />

Airbnb in what became one of my favourite<br />

places, Edinburgh.<br />

I had heard a lot about Edinburgh from my<br />

older sister who had been there in early<br />

September, and she came home and said,<br />

“this is literally the place for you, you’d<br />

love it!”. I trust my sister’s judgement far<br />

more than my own, so I took her word for<br />

it and booked the tickets. In the following<br />

month after I booked the trip, I saved<br />

countless of TikToks and posts, I saved<br />

recommendations on what to see and do in<br />

the city.<br />

I did have another motive for going to<br />

Edinburgh too, which was the chance of<br />

meeting my lovely pen pal, Aisha, who’s<br />

from the UK, for the first time ever. Aisha<br />

is a long-time internet friend of mine, and<br />

we have sent each other a lot of letters over<br />

the last year. Sometime in September, she<br />

sent me a brochure about Edinburgh in<br />

the mail with a note saying, “I do hope you<br />

visit sometime”. She had been there a lot of<br />

times and always told me about how lovely<br />


it was. And you better believe I wasn’t going<br />

to let her down. I told her that I booked the<br />

tickets, and quickly after she told me that<br />

she was coming to Edinburgh too. We were<br />

finally going to meet!<br />

A step out of the comfort zone<br />

There are a few things you should know<br />

about me before I tell you the rest. Before<br />

Edinburgh, I had<br />

never travelled<br />

alone, let alone been<br />

in an airport alone.<br />

I had never had<br />

dinner alone at a<br />

restaurant, and my<br />

navigational skills<br />

were nowhere to<br />

be found. I almost<br />

failed orienteering<br />

in high school, so<br />

this trip would<br />

really test me. But<br />

surprisingly, it<br />

went as smooth as I<br />

could have possibly<br />

imagined. I got through the airport in Oslo<br />

with the help of my mom, and I got on the<br />

plane. Inhale, exhale. For the first time in a<br />

while, I was completely alone. I was ready<br />

to take on the challenges of a solo trip.<br />

I had planned to stay 5 nights in the city,<br />

so I arrived there on the 31st of October,<br />

on a sunny Tuesday (which is not normal<br />

for Edinburgh at this time of the year, I’ve<br />

learned). The transportation possibilities<br />

were really easy to get to, and I quickly<br />

managed to find my way out of the airport<br />

and into a tram (which is similar to what a<br />

trikk would be in Norway). Within the first<br />

ten minutes of the tram ride, I had already<br />

fallen a little bit in love with the city. Every<br />

building we drove by was gorgeous! I<br />

kept staring out the window, and after<br />

about 40 minutes, I had arrived in Leith,<br />

a little district about 10 minutes outside of<br />

Edinburgh. After a short walk I had arrived<br />

to this really cute Airbnb where I was<br />

going to stay with the young couple that<br />

owned the place. They were really great<br />

and welcoming, and I had a nice chat with<br />

them; and their cute cat while I unloaded<br />

my baggage in my room. They gave me a<br />

lot of recommendations for activities in the<br />

city, and I was ready to explore around on<br />

my first day in Edinburgh.<br />

The goals for the first day were simple.<br />

Explore around town, visit the St. Giles<br />

Cathedral, maybe the Central Library, and<br />

find a place to eat (preferably a ramen<br />

place since I was really craving it). And<br />

during the 6 hours or so that I had stayed<br />

out, I managed to visit the Scott Monument<br />

and the New College, walked through, and<br />

explored Victoria Street, peeked into the<br />

Central Library, and found a place to eat.<br />

Edinburgh is a really great city to walk<br />

through because every main attraction was<br />

within walking distance from each other. I<br />

got to see a lot just on the first day.<br />

And now came the big challenge – to dine<br />

alone at a restaurant. I actually found this<br />

really cute ramen place called Maki &<br />

Ramen, and it was a tiny little restaurant but<br />

still packed with people. My anxiety started<br />

to get to me when I walked in that door, but<br />

I was quickly seated at a table for one by<br />

the very sweet staff. I had brought with me<br />

an emotional support book with me in case<br />

I wanted to look a bit busy, but surprisingly,<br />

I didn’t feel as bad once I had sat down. I<br />

placed my order and waited a few minutes.<br />

It was interesting to look around at the<br />

people in this restaurant. I wasn’t the only<br />

one there alone, and in some way, it felt<br />

really comforting. I got my huge bowl of<br />

ramen, and it was absolutely magnificent.<br />

The warm soup and noodles also added<br />

to this comfort. I tried to stay away from<br />

looking at my phone for the whole dinner<br />

to really stay in the moment, and it was<br />

actually quite nice. I felt in control again.<br />

I had my dinner in the bustling restaurant,<br />

<strong>DESEMBER</strong> 2023 <strong>UNIKUM</strong> NR 10 21

thanked the staff and was ready to walk<br />

home. The walk home from the city was<br />

about 20 minutes, and it was very calming<br />

to walk in the brisk air and through the<br />

beautiful streets of Edinburgh.<br />

One thing about this trip is that I didn’t wear<br />

my headphones at all after I got out of the<br />

airport, which is very weird for someone<br />

like me who gets very consumed in my<br />

music. I didn’t really feel like it? I wanted to<br />

22<br />

pay attention to the streets and the people,<br />

the sounds of the city, and music felt like an<br />

escape from all of that. However, I didn’t<br />

want to escape. I walked home quietly and<br />

found myself stopping at this incredibly<br />

cute bookshop on my way. It’s called<br />

Typewrongers, and it quickly became a<br />

place I stopped by almost every day for the<br />

whole trip. I bought a book and got a folded<br />

origami dragon with it and made my way<br />

home to Leith. It’s fascinating how a place<br />

can feel like home in such a short time.<br />

The second day alone consisted of a trip<br />

to the Edinburgh Castle. It was raining a<br />

lot that day, but lucky for me, I had come<br />

prepared with my full rainsuit packed. The<br />

castle was beautiful, and my inner history<br />

geek had a blast. After that, I stopped by the<br />

Greyfriar’s Kirkyard to satisfy the Harry<br />

Potter fangirl in me, and then I had lunch<br />

at this cute little bistro that my sister had<br />

recommended. I was often surprised by<br />

the fact that I didn’t feel lonely through all<br />

of this. I genuinely had a great time with<br />

myself, and I didn’t let the overthinking<br />

part of me take over any part of this trip.<br />

After lunch, I stopped by the National<br />

Portrait Gallery, before I went home to take<br />

a much-needed nap. I had dinner by myself<br />

in the city in the evening at a restaurant<br />

called Mowgli, and it was fantastic. My walk<br />

home was quite peaceful, and I stopped by<br />

the bookshop again and actually met and<br />

talked to the owner, who is also a writer!<br />

The pen pal and the places<br />

The following day was finally the day I was<br />

going to meet her, Aisha. I remember how<br />

nervous I was right before it. I had never<br />

met this person before, and I was kind of<br />

scared? What if this doesn’t work out? But<br />

to no surprise, it worked as well as I could<br />

have ever imagined. She came with a friend<br />

and scared the shit out of me by hugging<br />

me by the Scott Monument when we first<br />

met. I was surprised by how tiny she was<br />

compared to what I had imagined in my<br />

head. I’m not that used to people being<br />

shorter than me. But the vibe was absolutely<br />

amazing with both her and her friend, and<br />

everything felt so natural and calming. We<br />

checked into their Airbnb and chilled out<br />

for a while before we set out to explore<br />

some more. The following days I got to see a<br />

lot of places before they left. I wasn’t really<br />

alone anymore, not that it bothered me,<br />

but it was nice to have someone to explore<br />

with. We saw the Camera Obscura Museum,<br />

Calton Hill, Dean Village, The Writer’s<br />

Museum and some cute streets and cafés.<br />

We also spent two of the evenings watching<br />

romcoms at the Airbnb. Let’s just say that<br />

I fell in love with Hugh Grant. We spent so<br />

much time laughing and getting to know<br />

each other and I treasure the time I spent<br />

with these girls so much. I can’t even begin<br />

to explain the impact they left on me.<br />

I would go into detail, but I could literally<br />

write a book about this whole trip. We spent<br />

two and a half days together before they left,<br />

which meant that I had one more evening<br />

all alone. I spent the rest of the evening at<br />

the National Gallery, and then I went back<br />

to the ramen place for dinner and stopped<br />

by the bookshop again on the way home.<br />

The day actually got pretty emotional after<br />

having left my friends at the train station,<br />

but thankfully, I met a lot of kind strangers<br />

on the last day, whom I had some lovely<br />

conversations with. In Scotland people<br />

actually aren’t afraid to talk to strangers,<br />

like we are here in Norway so that was a<br />

nice surprise.

Final thoughts<br />

I could go on forever, but I’ll try to end this<br />

with a reflection. I actually really loved<br />

being alone for a while, just in my own<br />

world and doing whatever I wanted. I didn’t<br />

have to follow anyone’s schedule, and I got<br />

to see all the places I wanted to see. I got to<br />

write poetry in the Central Library like the<br />

main character I think I am. I got to talk to<br />

an old lady at the gallery who did art and<br />

told me that it was lovely meeting me. I got<br />

to fall in love with my friend, watching her<br />

interact with people, and being her true<br />

wonderful self. I got to have a cigarette<br />

in the park with a stranger and I talked<br />

to a lovely couple during dinner who told<br />

me to enjoy life while I was still young. I<br />

met so many kind strangers and I had so<br />

many moments where I thought “Wow,<br />

this feels like a movie”. I loved every bit of<br />

this trip. I have always been so scared of<br />

being too much alone with my thoughts,<br />

but it all worked out somehow. It made<br />

me want to spend even more time with<br />

myself. I journaled multiple times a day<br />

during this trip, maybe that helped with<br />

my usual overthinking. But I truly had the<br />

most amazing time. I learned that being<br />

alone isn’t all that bad, and maybe that’s<br />

exactly what I need in life right now. I have<br />

fallen on my face so many times trying to<br />

chase people and feelings, and for once, I<br />

didn’t feel like I needed anyone else. I was<br />

perfectly content with myself, and I have<br />

never felt so at peace as I did in Edinburgh.<br />

I came home with a heavy feeling in my<br />

chest of having left a piece of my heart in<br />

that city. It felt unfinished. I learnt a lot<br />

about my identity on this trip too, but that’s<br />

for another time. But all I can say is that I’m<br />

so proud that I did this for myself, and there<br />

isn’t really anything like that feeling. And if<br />

you’re considering a solo trip, DO IT. I mean<br />

it, book the tickets right now. It has changed<br />

my life.<br />

Believe me or not, I have already booked<br />

my tickets back to Edinburgh. See you in<br />

February!<br />

Favourite places:<br />

Typewrongers bookshop – met the nicest<br />

strangers there and this bookshop is just so<br />

cute! They also have a bunch of typewriters<br />

there and actually one functional one you<br />

could use.<br />

Edinburgh Central Library – my dark<br />

academia dreams were realized.<br />

The National Gallery - I spent 4 hours<br />

crying here after having left Aisha at the<br />

train station and met a lovely old lady who<br />

told me so much about her life. This gallery<br />

holds a special place in my heart.<br />

Dean Village – The dream is to move here,<br />

such a lovely little village.<br />

Calton Hill – the sunset from up there was<br />

so gorgeous.<br />

St. Mary’s Cathedral – I was feeling a bit<br />

emotional at the time, and an old man told<br />

me “Peace be with you” when I was lighting<br />

a candle and it made me cry a little.<br />

<strong>DESEMBER</strong> 2023 <strong>UNIKUM</strong> NR 10 23

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PIT STOP<br />

Across<br />

5. 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen<br />

6. animal in „Life of Pi“<br />

7. world’s most sold album<br />

8. Capital of finland<br />

10. St. Lucy’s Day<br />

11. Spicheren training center<br />

12. where does st. nicolas came from<br />

14. Sitcome set in a hospital<br />

15. biblical city destroyed by god<br />

Down<br />

1. maker of space invade<br />

2. Played zack in zack and cody<br />

3. Last name of a norwegian sprinter<br />

4. King charles first wife<br />

9. name of the devil<br />

13. norwegian christams food<br />

14. falling ice crystals<br />

Illustrasjon: freepik<br />

25<br />

<strong>DESEMBER</strong> NOVEMBER 2023 <strong>UNIKUM</strong> NR NR 10 9 25

TIPS<br />

Vintersykling 101 for nybegynnere<br />

Mattias Johannessen<br />

Skribent<br />

Foto: AdobeStock // Mikel Allica<br />

Så var det nok en vinter som var kommet over oss. Den årstiden<br />

hvor temperaturen synker, landskapet dekkes av et mykt, hvitt<br />

teppe av snø, og hvor dagene blir kortere. For mange studenter er<br />

sykkel et transportmiddel. Det være seg elektrisk eller helmanuell.<br />

Sykkel er et billig og enkelt transportmiddel som får en fra A til B.<br />

Men en kan jo ikke sykle om vinteren!<br />

Eller kan en? Her er fem tips til hvordan en på best mulig måte<br />

kan sykle om vinteren. Tipsene er basert på egen erfaring fra over<br />

35.000 km syklet med to elsykler, og 3vintre på sykkelsetet.<br />

#1 – ØVELSE!<br />

Kanskje det aller viktigste av det hele; ta deg god tid til å øve deg på<br />

å sykle om vinteren. Vinteren byr på andre utfordringer enn det<br />

en møter om sommeren. Glatt føre, snø, og sludd, er alle ting en<br />

må ta med i regnestykket. Om en ikke stiller forberedt, er det fort<br />

gjort å bli tatt på senga av dette. Men det finnes heldigvis måter<br />

en kan forberede seg på. Begynn tidlig med å øve deg på å sykle<br />

til vinteren. Glatt føre får en ikke gjort så mye med før det faktisk<br />

er kommet. Men å øve seg på å sykle i snø, kan en øve seg på i god<br />

tid i forveien. Det beste her er å finne et sted hvor det er litt løs<br />

sand. Eksempler på dette kan være langs med elvebredder, langs<br />

med løse skogsstier, eller på gamle grusveier. Strender langs med<br />

sjøen kan virke fristende, men det frarådes å øve her; saltet vil tære<br />

vesentlig på sykkelen. Sand oppfører seg selvsagt annerledes enn<br />

det snø vil gjøre, men en må bruke mye av de samme teknikkene<br />

for å holde balansen på sykkelen, og for å holde styring. Om sanden<br />

i tillegg er litt våt, gjerne litt gjørmete, så får en enda bedre effekt.<br />

Et par timers trening og øving på løs sand gjør at teknikkene en<br />

trenger for å sykle i tykke snølag setter seg godt. Husk likevel; bruk<br />

rolige bevegelser, og vær forsiktig med giret bak. For harde tråkk<br />

vil gjøre at bakhjulet glir ut. Prøv deg frem, finn en fremgangsmåte<br />

som fungerer for deg. Glatt føre må en nok vente med til det blir<br />

kaldt ute, og den første frosten kommer. Finn en parkeringsplass<br />

eller annen åpen plass, og prøv deg frem med hvordan det er å<br />

sykle på glatt føre. Husk; du må fort avvenne deg med å lene deg<br />

på sykkelen for å svinge. Svinging bør på glatt føre gjøres mest<br />

mulig med styret, mens en holder seg så mye som mulig rett opp<br />

og i midten av tyngdepunktet. Lening gjør at en fort kan miste<br />

grepet på bakhjulet, og da vil en falle. Begynn i lav fart, og jobb<br />

deg gradvis opp etter hva du føler deg komfortabel med. De som<br />

har tatt førerkort på motorsykkel eller moped har en fordel her,<br />

da de nok vil kjenne igjen disse teknikkene fra krypkjøringen på<br />

øvelsesbanen. Det er det samme prinsippet med sykkelen; en vil<br />

styre sykkelen med styret, ikke kroppen.<br />

#2 – Klær<br />

Det første en tenker når en tenker på vintersykling, er nok hvordan<br />

en kan unngå å fryse. Å fryse når en sykler er ikke gøy, og kan<br />

fort gjøre en ellers trivelig sykkeltur svært utrivelig og kjedelig.<br />

Men det finnes heldigvis råd for dette, og det er overraskende<br />

enkelt. Alt en trenger er en god jakke, en god vindtett bukse, et par<br />

vinterhansker, og en lue om en føler at en fryser på hodet. Og det er<br />

egentlig alt en trenger. Det trengs ikke noen fasjonable jakker eller<br />

bukser laget for vinteren, eller noe spesialisert utstyr. For de som<br />

er bekymret for å fryse likevel, kan en også kjøpe en god kjeledress.<br />

Disse kan en få med sertifisering for arbeid i fryseskap ned mot -25<br />

grader. En kan med andre ord trygt sykle i de temperaturene Agder<br />

har å by på, uten å måtte bekymre seg for å fryse. At en sykler<br />

hjelper godt på; en blir varm i løpet av turen.<br />

Den største utfordringen en kan møte på om vinteren når det<br />

kommer til å fryse, er faktisk regn. Her er det nok et godt sett med<br />

regntøy som må til for å få løst problemet.<br />

#3 - Utstyr sykkelen skikkelig<br />

Gode piggdekk og en stødig hånd er helt nødvendig for en vellykket<br />

og trygg vinter. Frem til den første frosten kommer kan en fint<br />

sykle på sommerdekkene, men straks det er frost og det begynner å<br />

bli is ute, er tiden inne for å ha vinterdekkene på. En kan få piggfrie<br />

vinterdekk om en vil det, men disse er ikke til å anbefale. Er det<br />

glatt trenger en alt det grepet en kan få, og da er piggdekk utstyret<br />

som gjelder. Husk også gode lykter fremme og bak, for synlighet<br />

når du er ute og sykler i skumringen og når det er mørkt. En<br />

refleksvest er også tilrådelig, men ikke noe en absolutt må bruke.<br />

Selv bruker denne skribenten en refleksvest fra Nullvisjonen Agder<br />

med glidelås, som absolutt kan anbefales.<br />


#4 - Ta det med ro<br />

Å sykle med piggdekk er betydelig tyngre enn å sykle med<br />

sommerdekk. Ikke stress, og ta det i et rolig tempo. En bør ikke trå<br />

så mye at en svetter seg gjennomvåt, men samtidig er det en fordel<br />

å holde et jevnt tempo. Og husk; tyngre gir kan gjøre det lettere å<br />

få sleng på bakhjulet. Så ta ting med ro, og finn et tempo som er<br />

forsvarlig for føret du sykler på.<br />


Dette er et tips som retter seg spesifikt til de som bruker elsykkel.<br />

Dette kan være en god eller en dårlig nyhet, avhengig av hva slags<br />

elsykkel en har. Men en kan gjøre det kort; bakhjulsdrevne elsykler<br />

er ikke egnet på vinterføre, og det frarådes på det sterkeste å sykle<br />

med disse når det er snø eller is ute. Problemet med bakhjulsdrevne<br />

elsykler, er at en har liten kontroll på bakhjulet og motoren, og det<br />

er alt for lett å få sleng på elsykkelen. Dette kan enkelt og fort ende<br />

med et stygt fall.<br />

Det beste drivverket på en elsykkel er å ha motoren i kranken. Det<br />

vil si at motoren er å finne ved sykkelens pedaler, integrert inn i<br />

rammen, og gir kraft sammen med pedalene når en trår. Gir i navet<br />

bak, navgir som det heter, går helt fint å ha, og er mindre utsatt<br />

for slitasje enn en elsykkel med kassett bak. Men motoren bør en<br />

unngå å ha bak på hjulet. Motor i kranken gir god kontroll over<br />

bakhjulet, og gjør det mulig å kutte ut assistansen umiddelbart<br />

om en får sleng bak, ved å slutte å trå. Fremhjulsdrevne elsykler,<br />

elsykler som har motoren i hjulet fremme, kan fint sykles med,<br />

men krever tilvenning og øvelse. Fremhjulet har en tendens til å<br />

dra ganske godt når en svinger, så det krever litt tilvenning for å<br />

bli vant til dette.<br />

Husk også at elsykler kan oppnå høyere fart enn en manuell<br />

sykkel, så vær forsiktig den første tiden frem til du er blitt vant<br />

med hvordan den oppfører seg på glatta.<br />

<strong>DESEMBER</strong> 2023 <strong>UNIKUM</strong> NR 10 27

SATIRE<br />

Merry F<br />

king Christmas<br />

A celebration of passive aggressiveness.<br />

Alice Soleng<br />

Writer<br />

Adam Zawadzki<br />

Writer<br />

Illustration: Freepik // freepik<br />

For those of you that love throwing shade, as much as standing in it looking creepy, the festive season is the<br />

perfect time to unleash your inner Scrooge! Not only was he a sexy icon of frugality (those varicose veins, yum)<br />

trying as hard as he might to avoid spending any time with anyone, even he succumbed to the clutches of a<br />

family dinner by the end of the film. Have no fear, however, for Adam and Alice (the bitch reporters) are here to<br />

make sure that you won’t have to suffer the same unholy fate. With the winter holidays once again threatening<br />

constant happiness, what better way to show your friends and family how much you “appreciate” them, than by<br />

gifting them a present they will never forget, no matter how much they may want to. No, please, don’t thank us.<br />

Warning, they get progressively more offensive (or effective).<br />

Number 1: You (not the Netflix series)<br />

Isn’t your presence a gift enough? Why bother<br />

spending lots of money for something that will<br />

be used once, when the amazing person that<br />

you are is a blessing already. Besides, this gift<br />

works for almost anyone. Can’t be bothered to<br />

go to the store? Just put on some fancy clothes,<br />

your fakest smile, and have a go at everyone.<br />

It’s a classic.<br />

Repeat after us: “What better way to enjoy the<br />

present, when the present is me!”<br />

Number 2: Tins (food, non-perishable:<br />

unlike your relationship)<br />

The process is thus: walk into your nearest<br />

department store and loudly command “show me<br />

the beans.” At this point, Sharon, the customer<br />

service advisor, will highlight the relevant aisle<br />

if there isn’t a beam of light emanating from it<br />

already, much like the star that helped guide the<br />

three wise men. A task that took three men two<br />

thousand years ago, however, only takes one today,<br />

since there is now a woman to help. Thanks Sharon.<br />

Isn’t she great?! Advance!<br />

Repeat after us: “Now you can go out alone at night<br />

again as tins aren’t registered weapons. Yet.”<br />


Number 3: A mirror (which present<br />

is the fairest of them all?)<br />

When the opportunity presents itself for<br />

somebody to take something the wrong way,<br />

always go for it. Is your chosen recipient in love<br />

with their own face almost as much as yours?<br />

Check. Should they consider it a philosophical<br />

message surrounding selfie culture, which<br />

offers copious amounts of academic research to<br />

keep them quiet (since you’ve read all of them<br />

already, of course)? Check. Besides, if the mirror<br />

arrives cracked, they’ll have to deal with all the<br />

bad luck. As it should be. Check.<br />

Line: “I don’t need this anymore as there was<br />

nothing to improve. Sorry not sorry.”<br />

Number 4: A total make-over (so you<br />

can look them in the face without crying)<br />

If their personality can’t be saved, maybe their<br />

looks can? Gifting someone a total make-over is a<br />

great way to save your eyes from going blind, and<br />

save them from looking like the ugly-duckling next<br />

to you. It can easily be shrugged off as a spa-day,<br />

or allows them to fix the insecurities they should<br />

be worried about. Maybe if you’re extra lucky,<br />

someone else might become interested in them,<br />

and take them off your hands!<br />

Line: “Beauty isn’t everything, but when you have<br />

no personality it certainly helps.”<br />

Number 5: Nasal hair remover<br />

(they’ll even get to keep them)<br />

Imagine the face of your enemy when they<br />

open this magnificent present. We’re now<br />

entering the territory of gifts that might make<br />

them get the memo. However, you can easily<br />

play this one off as a helpful suggestion. You’re<br />

their friend, and you “obviously” have good<br />

intentions. Although you’re not creative enough<br />

to come up with your own gift ideas. Negative<br />

effects: it might make it easier for them to<br />

breathe.<br />

“There’s no need to beat around the bush!”<br />

Number 6: Axe body spray (in lieu of<br />

an actual axe)<br />

If you’ve ever been to a high school, you’ll know<br />

the scent of this menace to society. One would<br />

think you’d get rid of it when you graduate, but<br />

our lovely editor in chief had other plans. If<br />

you’ve already fought the desire to get an actual<br />

axe, this is a great replacement. The receiver<br />

will feel invincible, whilst failing at gaining<br />

attention from the opposite sex (like normal).<br />

However, the same sex may be attracted which<br />

will definitely prove for a more interesting night<br />

out. I can guarantee you this scent will not draw<br />

in the right people. Perfect for your mischievous<br />

plans.<br />

“Ugh, you’re gross. Spray that body!”<br />

Number 7: Self-help books (because,<br />

obviously, you don’t need them)<br />

If you’ve not been able to chase away your<br />

present receiver already, you might need to<br />

take the matter into your own hands (but not<br />

like that, yet). Gifting them a self-help book, to<br />

at least partially improve their presence in your<br />

life, could be beneficial. Or it will give them some<br />

qualities that are a replica of a decent personality.<br />

Our suggestions include (but are not limited to):<br />

- ‘Girl, Wash Your Face’ by Rachel Hollis<br />

- ‘The Courage to Be Disliked’ by Ichiro Kishimi<br />

- ‘Maybe You Should Talk to Someone’ by Lori<br />

Gottlieb<br />

“Be thankful it wasn’t Mein Kampf.”<br />

<strong>DESEMBER</strong> 2023 <strong>UNIKUM</strong> NR 10 29

Number 9: A map (to help that special<br />

someone find their way out of your life)<br />

Number 8: A gift card for therapy<br />

Gift cards are everywhere, even though they shouldn’t<br />

be. While I’m sure they’d love a Paramount+ subscription,<br />

there’s only so many times you can watch ‘Top Gun:<br />

Maverick’ without wanting to do something maverick<br />

yourself. Like staging an intervention, perhaps, on a<br />

much more psychological level. If you can’t find the<br />

time to pray for them at the Church of Scientology, then<br />

maybe a more radical approach is required to peel away<br />

the layers of that onion you call Gran. God knows she<br />

loves an audience, mainly because she won’t give him a<br />

minute’s bloody peace. Even he took the seventh day to<br />

rest and so should she. Learning is life-long which means<br />

it’s never too late to start. Zimmer frames sold separately.<br />

#yolo<br />

“I ran out of witch’s totems. Sorry.”<br />

Number 11: A coffin<br />

Want to give your friends and family the ultimate student<br />

accommodation experience? SiA Bolig loves dark humour<br />

almost as much as we do, so why not go all in with the<br />

winter range, that’s kitted out with the latest accessories?<br />

Touchscreen? Yes. Surround sound speakers. Duh! You can<br />

decorate them with stickers, graffiti and the axe body spray<br />

you gave them earlier. They even come with windows now,<br />

although you’ll have to buy your own bed linen and pillows.<br />

It’s a comfy fit but, then again, the money you’ll save on<br />

heating will more than make up for it. Help that special<br />

someone feel at home, and take the time to appreciate<br />

that you had the last laugh. Literally. Suggested Christmas<br />

classics for (your new) home entertainment:<br />

- ‘Room’<br />

- ‘Panic Room’<br />

- ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula’<br />

“Watch your step. It might be your last.”<br />

If telling someone to choose love doesn’t work,<br />

then a map might help them go into the wilderness,<br />

and never be found again. Just mark a spot, tell<br />

them there’s a pot at the end of the rainbow, and<br />

maybe hire an assassin to get the job done (they<br />

have student discounts now, such is the demand).<br />

Who doesn’t love a scavenger hunt? Especially the<br />

police! You’re gifting them a more interesting day<br />

on the job, and yourself some inner peace. Karma is<br />

a bitch, but then again, so are we. If you can’t afford<br />

to hire an assassin, pray the wind blows the map out<br />

of their cold hands.<br />

Remember: “After all, Xmas marks the spot.”<br />

Number 10: One way ticket out of the country<br />

Who doesn’t love a vacation? Forever. While Guantanamo<br />

Bay is always fully booked, unfortunately, there are a myriad<br />

of other global destinations hostile to freedom, humanity and<br />

a trend-setting fashion sense that will give your recipient<br />

the once-in-a-lifetime chance to work on their personal<br />

development without the distraction of your awesomeness.<br />

While there’s usually plenty of room in Chernobyl, Alcatraz<br />

is surrounded by water which will make it more difficult to<br />

escape from (although not impossible, as Adam and Alice<br />

can attest). If your loved ones don’t appreciate the brutalist<br />

architecture of a Category A maximum security prison now,<br />

they will, of course, with time.<br />

Always remember: “Every angel needs a devil, and that’s<br />

where I come in. Sleigh!”<br />

Number 12: Your autograph<br />

Congratulations! If you’ve made it this far, you’ve<br />

joined the elite to become the world-famous celebrity<br />

you always knew you could be, because you put yourself<br />

first before anyone else! It wasn’t easy but, then again,<br />

blinding success never is. Adam and Alice are ready to<br />

welcome you to our annual awards dinner on the balcony<br />

of the Radisson Blu hotel overlooking the fireworks<br />

display on New Year’s Eve with a glass of champagne<br />

in one hand and a Golden Globe nomination in the<br />

other, because you, dear reader, are a present worth<br />

celebrating. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a<br />

Happy New Year! We genuinely mean that. Or do we?<br />

“And the winner is… you, as expected. Skål (and<br />

crossbones).”<br />


Registrer deg<br />

— og —<br />

vinn<br />

Registrer deg gratis i UiAs<br />

alumninettverk før nyttår.<br />

Vi trekker ti vinnere som<br />

får kinobilletter eller<br />

kantinegavekort.<br />

Både nåværende og<br />

tidligere studenter har<br />

mulighet til å registrere<br />

seg i nettverket.<br />

<strong>DESEMBER</strong> 2023 <strong>UNIKUM</strong> NR 10 31

KULTUR<br />


Vilde Hagen Svanberg<br />

Skribent<br />

Illustrasjon: Freepik // freepik, brgfx, svstudioart<br />

Desember er her, og forhåpentligvis også julestemningen. Hvis ikke, har du nå et arsenal av podcaster<br />

du kan prøve deg på, mens du baker pepperkaker, pakker inn julegaver, eller noe helt annet du selv<br />

forbinder med jul. Jeg håper du finner julestemningen, og at du får en fantastisk høytid!<br />


Live og Ronny er tilbake i år igjen, med en ny episode<br />

hver dag i desember! Live Nelvik sliter med å finne<br />

julestemningen, mens makker Ronny Brede Aase er<br />

over snittet glad i jul. Sammen utforsker de begreper<br />

som «novent» (advent i november), diskuterer<br />

pakkekalendere, juletrehogging, gløgg, julebord og<br />

rampenisser. Forventer dagens unge opp til flere<br />

julekalendere samtidig? Hva er best av vanlig gran,<br />

edelgran og plast-tre? De analyserer også julesanger,<br />

og prøver å oppklare hva vanskelig tekster betyr. Hva<br />

er egentlig «paradis grønt»? Er det hasj? Med hvert sitt<br />

forhold til jul gir de deg en deilig og underholdende<br />

pause, i en (for noen) stressende tid. Dette er rett og<br />

slett en skikkelig koselig julepod!<br />


For en som har vokst opp med The Julekalender, er<br />

dette en podkast jeg gleder meg til! Den har dessverre<br />

ikke kommet ut i skrivende stund, men har premiere 1.<br />

desember. Julekalenderen «The Julekalender Podkast»<br />

er podkastjulekalenderen som tar for seg den populære<br />

og tidløse julekalenderen «The julekalender». Henrik<br />

Overaa Bjørnson og Joachim Joachimsen, åpner en<br />

luke hver dag, hvor de tar for seg dagens episode,<br />

funfacts, intervjuer og andre hendelser som har med<br />

den sagnomsuste og populære julekalenderen å gjøre.<br />

The Julekalender Podkast – Alt du visste, ikke visste og<br />

ikke var klar over at du ønsket å vite, om Norges mest<br />

kjente julekalender.<br />




Julepodcast er i vinden som aldri før, så her har vi nok<br />

en nykommer i år. For mange blir det ikke ordentlig<br />

jul uten de faste julefilmene, og Grinchen er definitivt<br />

en av klassikerne. Får du ikke nok av fyren som hater<br />

jul, så frykt ikke – i denne podcasten møter vi Grinchen<br />

(med stemmen til James Austin Johnson fra Saturday<br />

Night Live) som talkshow-vert! Sammen med hunden<br />

Max, sender han direkte inne fra Who-Ville, mens han<br />

snakker om sitt hat for julen, og roaster diverse gjester.<br />

Gjør klart pledd, kakao og julekaker, mens du koser<br />

deg med julens anti-helt.<br />


Du har kanskje hørt om konseptet Hallmark-filmer?<br />

Skikkelig klisjé historier, som alltid får en lykkelig<br />

slutt. Noen elsker dem og synes de er både morsomme<br />

og koselige. Andre hater dem, og skjønner ikke poenget<br />

med filmer der du allerede vet hvordan det ender,<br />

før du i det hele tatt har satt filmen på. Denne evige<br />

debatten får du høre mer om i Deck the Hallmark!<br />

Her får du over TUSEN episoder om filmene, som er<br />

så diskutabelt dårlige at de blir sluppet rett på TV. Ikke<br />

alle av disse handler om julen, men likevel ganske så<br />

mange, spesielt nå i førjulstiden. Hva med å se filmene<br />

i forkant av episodene der vertene Bran (elsker<br />

filmene), Dan (hater filmene) og Panda (synes filmene<br />

er ok) får diverse venner over for å diskutere?<br />

<strong>DESEMBER</strong> 2023 <strong>UNIKUM</strong> NR 10 33

POEM<br />

Anjali Mariampillai<br />

Web Editor<br />

Photo: AdobeStock // Vshyukova<br />

my pockets are full of candy wrappers.<br />

to write is to feel. i unwrap the strawberry candy of my<br />

words and let it slowly melt on my tongue, the plastic<br />

wrapper crinkles in my fist. i cannot steal butterflies,<br />

so i grow them, nourish them and feed them with my<br />

words, so that they will flutter in my stomach. i dig,<br />

claw first, in my misery in hopes of finding a heart<br />

shaped locket with your name in it. i write about<br />

whatever it was, is, and was meant to be. my lifelong,<br />

big, cinematic pink romance are the words that caress<br />

my face and pumps blood through my veins.<br />

i would have left you my entire heart if i could.<br />

i wanted to leave my brown beaded bracelet around your wrist, but i<br />

forgot. however, i put three small packets of the prawn cocktail crisps<br />

you like in your backpack when you were not looking. i hope that‘s okay.<br />

i keep wishing you left one of your silver rings on the table at Laila‘s. i‘d<br />

put it in my pocket so that you‘d have a reason to come back. i‘ll keep the<br />

polaroid in my phone, so that comes with me on every journey. and when<br />

the worn down phone case finally caves in, i get to tell them about my<br />

soulmate. and how you scared the hell out of me by the Scott Monument.<br />

i‘ll tell them about the crystals we picked out for each other and the exact<br />

number of Smints you put in the palm of my hand (the spearmint ones, not<br />

strawberry). i left you with my sweater vest, the one that fits you so much<br />

better than me. you left me with your poetry book, it fits me perfectly.<br />

my love is mine, all mine.<br />

i carry her with stars in my eyes. she is in<br />

the curls and soft coils of my hair, and in the<br />

words that i speak. i carry her in every tear<br />

and in every stroke of pen to paper. i carry her<br />

on my lips in a black honey hue and show her<br />

off with a bright smile. i carry her smudged<br />

mascara and yawns on sleepless nights. i carry<br />

love with me to bed and let her rest soundly<br />

in the walls of my heart and i protect her.<br />

nothing in the world belongs to me, but my love.<br />

her<br />

it was when i was left hollow at a train<br />

station i realized that i had been loved in<br />

the way i love. poetically, beautifully and<br />

with a hint of melancholy somewhere<br />

in between. she puts orange slices in my<br />

hands and says „here, have my heart“,<br />

and suddenly i‘m overflowing to the point<br />

of spilling drunken „i love you“ texts after<br />

midnight - to the right person this time.<br />


Photo: IMDb<br />



Alice Soleng<br />

Writer<br />

REVIEW<br />

Welcome back ladies and gentlemen to the Hunger Games, and may<br />

the odds be ever in your favour. Not only have the high-grossing<br />

film franchise returned, but it is back with new blood, and a<br />

storyline that will leave lovers of the Hunger Games universe with<br />

both glee and frustration. Suzanne Collins returns as a producer,<br />

together with director Francis Lawrence. Is this the best film in the<br />

franchise?<br />

The prequel of the beloved series is set 64 years before the Hunger<br />

Games, and we follow Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) as he is set to<br />

be a mentor in the 10th annual Hunger Games. The film starts in<br />

the dark years, the time where the districts<br />

rebelled, and the Capitol’s children were<br />

starving in the streets. The Snow family<br />

lost their fortune but refuse to give up their<br />

status in Panem. After bombing District<br />

13, the Capitol ends the war, creating the<br />

Hunger Games to punish the districts for<br />

their rebellion. However, only ten years<br />

into the future, nobody is watching the<br />

games, and the mentors are introduced<br />

to attract viewers. 24 promising academy<br />

students are chosen for the task, with a<br />

scholarship award on the line for the best<br />

mentor. Coriolanus Snow, desperate to win<br />

the award to secure his future, is given the<br />

worst of the pack. The girl from District 12,<br />

Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler). The odds<br />

are not in their favour, and Coriolanus<br />

must find a way for his songbird to survive.<br />

But at what cost?<br />

So, what did the film do right?<br />

A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes remains<br />

true to the book, with a few minor changes.<br />

The film paints the story of Snow’s rise<br />

from hungry schoolboy to dangerous<br />

unrepentant president. Fans of the books<br />

will smile to themselves when they catch references to the<br />

trilogy, and the screenwriters should receive a pat on the back for<br />

successfully adapting the book to screenplay. Another thing the<br />

film does right is the soundtrack. Lucy Gray’s songs were a huge<br />

part of the book, and James Newton Howard (The Dark Knight) was<br />

hired to bring the songs to life. Having so many songs could easily<br />

have made the film feel like a musical, but it never crosses that line.<br />

Rachel Zegler’s voice is powerful, yet comforting, and her delivery<br />

of Lucy Gray’s determination is compelling. Her performance of<br />

the song The old Therebefore is nothing short of breathtaking, and<br />

it leaves the viewer stunned.<br />

Additionally, I would also like to highlight some of the acting<br />

performances in the film. As mentioned, Rachel Zegler does an<br />

excellent job at portraying Lucy Gray’s charming wit, but the<br />

best acting performance goes to Josh Andrés Rivera, who played<br />

Sejanus Plinth. The desperation, plotting and empathy shown by<br />

the character, is as it was taken straight from the book. Altogether,<br />

the plot, the casting, the costumes, and the music makes for a great<br />

film, but I have a few nagging points.<br />

Firstly, the character of Coriolanus Snow<br />

(Tom Blyth). While Blyth is a great actor,<br />

as a book reader, it was easy to catch on to<br />

the fact that his portrayal of the character<br />

lacks complexity. Blyth is excellent at<br />

portraying the decisiveness and the allure<br />

of Coriolanus, but he fails at conveying the<br />

doubt and insecurity Snow feels throughout<br />

the plot. Certain scenes leave me longing for<br />

more depth, and it feels like his backstory<br />

was left behind.<br />

Secondly, the pacing of the film is off. As<br />

one could expect the highlight of the film<br />

is the actual Hunger Games, which takes<br />

place during the second part of the film,<br />

The Prize. My attention was kept during<br />

the first two parts of the film, but during<br />

the third, The Peacekeeper, some scenes<br />

felt unnecessary dragged out. Of course,<br />

the ending picks up the pace again, and I<br />

can’t say the third part lacks interesting<br />

events. Yet, I feel the film could have been<br />

shortened a bit, to match the other films in<br />

the franchise.<br />

So, is it the best film in the franchise? No, I would not say so.<br />

It’s a great addition to an already amazing series, and I would<br />

recommend going to the cinema and watch it. It shows us a tale<br />

of hope, desperation, and love. Most of all, it teaches us one thing<br />

about Coriolanus Snow and society.<br />

“We all do things we’re not proud of to live”.<br />

<strong>DESEMBER</strong> 2023 <strong>UNIKUM</strong> NR 10 35

AK TUELT<br />




Natasha Agatha Wangui<br />

Nyhetsredaktør<br />

Foto: Unikum // Natasha Kamanzi, Emma Horgen Frivold; Foto: Freepik // wirestock<br />

Samarbeidet mellom YATA Kristiansand<br />

og Luftforsvarets skolesenter er et<br />

levende eksempel på hvordan samarbeid<br />

mellom ungdomsorganisasjoner og<br />

forsvarssektoren kan gi verdifull innsikt<br />

og inspirasjon til unge som ønsker å<br />

forstå og påvirke sikkerhetspolitikken.<br />

Omvisningen har ifølge studentene<br />

gitt en økende interesse for hvordan<br />

Luftforsvaret fungerer.<br />

Anjelica Larsen studerer statsvitenskap<br />

ved Universitetet i Agder og er<br />

medlemsansvarlig i YATA Kristiansands<br />

styre. Til Unikum deler hun høydepunkter<br />

fra omvisningen på Luftforsvarets<br />

skolesenter på Kjevik.<br />

I et samarbeid mellom Luftforsvarets skolesenter Kjevik og<br />

Youth Atlantic Treaty Association Kristiansand (YATA) fikk<br />

medlemmene i YATA en eksklusiv mulighet til å utforske Norges<br />

forsvarshemmeligheter.<br />

YATA Kristiansand er en nettverksorganisasjon for unge med<br />

interesse for utenriks-, forsvars- og sikkerhetspolitikk. YATA Norge<br />

og YATA International har som mål å gi medlemmene kunnskap,<br />

nettverk, og muligheter for å utvikle interesse, studier, og karriere<br />

innenfor disse feltene. Dette samarbeidet med Luftforsvarets<br />

skolesenter er bare ett av mange initiativ for å oppnå dette målet.<br />

Unik Innsikt i Forsvaret<br />

Under omvisningen fikk studentene fra YATA Kristiansand en<br />

grundig innføring i Luftforsvarets skolesenter som har base på<br />

Kjevik. Hangarene, hvor F-16-flyene stod, og briefen om den<br />

sikkerhetspolitiske situasjonen i Norge og internasjonalt, stod som<br />

høydepunkter for flere av deltakerne.<br />

- For meg så var omvisningen i hangar<br />

hvor F-16 flyene stod og briefen<br />

vi fikk om den sikkerhetspolitiske<br />

situasjonen i Norge, og i verden, to klare<br />

høydepunkter. Personalet på Kjevik<br />

er dyktige og kunnskapsrike om både<br />

utenriks- og innenrikspolitikk. De er virkelig på pulsen av dagens<br />

sikkerhetspolitiske situasjon både i et globalt og lokalt perspektiv.<br />

Kanskje spesielt spennende var det å høre om trusselnivået i Norge<br />

i dag, og om hvordan finsk og svensk NATO-medlemskap kan ha<br />

ringvirkninger som for det blotte øyet kanskje ikke er umiddelbart<br />

synlige. I tillegg var også maten i kantina god, legger hun til.<br />

Videre peker hun spesielt på innsikten i den operative delen av<br />

flyene, hvor deltakerne fikk nærkontakt med F-16-flyene og en<br />

grundig gjennomgang av den avanserte teknologien ombord.<br />

- F-16 er jo kjent for sin avanserte elektronikk, så det var veldig<br />

innsiktsfullt og interessant å se hvordan flyene er designet og<br />

utstyrt. Samtidig så var det også tankevekkende fordi lignende<br />

fly brukes aktivt i konflikter i dag. Vi fikk også se våpnene som<br />

festes på jagerflyene og det gir inntrykk, samtidig som det er veldig<br />

spennende. Man sitter kanskje igjen med en litt dypere forståelse<br />

av krigens realitet – flere av disse flyene er jo massive, understreker<br />

hun.<br />


Interessant å se det større bildet<br />

Nina Johnsen studerer også statsvitenskap ved UiA<br />

og er arrangementsansvarlig i YATA Kristiansand.<br />

Til studentavisen deler hun Larsens begeistring<br />

og påpeker at omvisningen hadde en betydelig<br />

innvirkning på hennes interesse for luftfart, forsvar<br />

og sikkerhetspolitikk.<br />

- Det mest interessante var både sikkerhetsbriefen og<br />

omvisningen inne i hangaren med jagerflyene. Det<br />

var overraskende å høre at høyreekstremisme har økt<br />

såpass den siste tiden i Norge og verden at det faktisk<br />

nå blir sett på som reelle muligheter for at et angrep<br />

kan skje. For min del så øker interessen betydelig. Jeg<br />

lærer mye gjennom studiet mitt på statsvitenskap,<br />

men det er noe med å få info rett fra de som har jobbet<br />

med dette i flere tiår og kan vise og fortelle oss de<br />

praktiske tingene, som f. eks. F-16 som vi kun har lest<br />

om tidligere. Jeg synes også det er interessant å se det<br />

større bildet og måten alt henger sammen på, forteller<br />

Johnsen til Unikum.<br />

Kunnskapsdyrkende<br />

Nina Johnsen, som også sitter i YATA<br />

Kristiansands styre, forklarer at de ulike<br />

arrangementene i YATA Kristiansand<br />

er en måte å formidle kunnskap og<br />

skape en plattform for unge mennesker<br />

interessert i utenriks-, forsvars- og<br />

sikkerhetspolitikk. Hun oppgir at hun<br />

har flere roller innenfor denne politiske<br />

organisasjonen.<br />

- Jeg foreslår, planlegger, koordinerer og<br />

utfører arrangement med hjelp fra de<br />

andre medlemmene i styret. Det er veldig<br />

gøy og jeg får møte mange kjekke folk og<br />

har hatt gode diskusjoner, samt at jeg får<br />

flere gode kontakter som muliggjør blant<br />

annet slike arrangement som denne<br />

omvisningen, sier Johnsen.<br />

<strong>DESEMBER</strong> 2023 <strong>UNIKUM</strong> NR 10 37

REVIEW<br />

Super Mario RPG<br />

(2023) – REVIEW<br />

Tobias Klausen<br />

Editor in Chief<br />

Photo: IGN; RPGamer; Game Informer<br />

Mario has proved time and time again, there’s<br />

nothing he can’t do. From racing in karts,<br />

playing various sports and even turning<br />

into paper, he’s done it all. But 27 years ago,<br />

the library of Mario spin-offs was nothing<br />

but a twinkle in the sky, the occasional<br />

karting being his only venture. But then<br />

Nintendo teamed up with SquareSoft (now<br />

known as the industry giant Square Enix),<br />

to bring the plumber to an entirely new<br />

genre: RPGs. The game was a huge success<br />

and even now is fondly remembered by its<br />

fans. So, imagine the shock when Nintendo<br />

revealed in a presentation earlier this year<br />

that they would be remaking the game,<br />

with a complete graphical overhaul and<br />

additional gameplay features? But can the<br />

remake capture the magic of the original,<br />

or should this classic have stayed in the<br />

nostalgic past?<br />

Super Mario RPG tells a tale as old as time,<br />

Bowser has once more kidnapped Princess<br />

Peach and it’s up to Mario to rescue her,<br />

however, strangely enough, this occurs<br />

within the first 10 minutes of the game. Just<br />

as Mario reunites with Peach, a massive<br />

sword comes crashing down from the<br />

38<br />

heavens, sending Mario, Peach and even<br />

Bowser flying out of the castle. Mario<br />

luckily lands in his house, but the confusion<br />

of what just happened lingers. What was<br />

that giant sword? Where is Princess Peach?<br />

What were those strange stars which fell<br />

from the sky as well? But<br />

with no hesitation, as<br />

there never is with our<br />

titular hero, he embarks<br />

on an adventure to find<br />

Princess Peach, with the<br />

help of some (unusual)<br />

allies along the way!<br />

The story is as simplistic<br />

as you would imagine for<br />

a Mario game. It never<br />

reaches any epic highs<br />

like that of Final Fantasy,<br />

but it doesn’t try to either,<br />

because what you get<br />

is exactly what you would want. Instead,<br />

Super Mario RPG focuses on humor, this is<br />

a funny game. It got quite a few chuckles<br />

out of me, and I had a smile on my face<br />

when reading some of the obtuse and crazy<br />

lines (why does Toad have a bazooka at<br />

home!?). Even mere in-game cutscenes<br />

featuring the shenanigans of the characters<br />

are enough to warrant a smile or a giggle.<br />

The game is overflowing with charm, and<br />

that doesn’t just apply to the writing but<br />

also the designs.<br />

You’ll recognize some familiar enemies<br />

like the iconic Goomba, Koopa Troopa and<br />

Shy Guy, but Super Mario RPG is brimming<br />

with plenty of enemy variety, and it never<br />

seems to stop. With every new world<br />

there is always something which brings a<br />

new color to the palette of the Mushroom<br />

Kingdom. And speaking of appearances,<br />

the game is absolutely gorgeous. Somehow,<br />

the developers have been able to translate<br />

the art style of the original flawlessly<br />

into the realm of modern graphics, and<br />

every world, enemy and even object are<br />

overflowing with life and there are tons of<br />

new animations to enjoy. There’s even been<br />

added cutscenes which are a blast to watch<br />

and add so much character to an adventure<br />

already overflowing with personality.<br />

But graphics aren’t the only thing to<br />

enjoy. Super Mario RPG has traditional<br />

turn-based combat segments in-between<br />

Mario jumping all around the Mushroom

Kingdom on his quests. Here, Mario and<br />

his allies, the toad(??), Mallow, and the<br />

doll brought to life, Geno, will duke it<br />

out against foes who stand in your way.<br />

A staple of Mario RPGs has been button<br />

inputs to enhance your attack to bring<br />

some more damage to enemies and player<br />

agency to the turn-based combat system.<br />

It originated in Super Mario RPG and with<br />

the remake it’s more satisfying than ever.<br />

Every character requires different timing,<br />

which can also change depending on the<br />

equipped weapon, and even magic attacks<br />

have button inputs which can add to the<br />

damage or healing. You can also time your<br />

defense, and potentially negate all damage.<br />

However, the remake goes an additional<br />

mile and if you time your attack perfectly<br />

not only will the primary target take<br />

damage, but also all the other enemies,<br />

albeit the others will receive only a<br />

fraction of the original damage. This<br />

makes battles go quicker and you never<br />

feel battles drawing out or that they’re a<br />

tedious annoyance in your quest to grow<br />

ever stronger. Another addition to the<br />

remake’s battle system is the action gauge<br />

which is filled based on correctly timed<br />

button-inputs for either defense or attack.<br />

When filled, you can use a powerful Triple<br />

Move! Depending on the characters in your<br />

current party the cutscene and effect will<br />

differ They feel right at home and gives the<br />

game additional charm and encourages you<br />

to experiment with party set-up. It should<br />

be noted that the remake seems like it<br />

didn’t quite balance around these additions<br />

as some battles feel a bit too easy, especially<br />

boss battles where their main gimmick is<br />

summoning tiny swarms of enemies to aid<br />

them or uses powerful effects to mess with<br />

your party. The game has a “breezy” mode<br />

which is good for those that just want to<br />

chill while playing, but it is a bit puzzling<br />

that the developers didn’t add a “hard”<br />

mode too.<br />

Something that goes hard is 100% the<br />

soundtrack. Every track from the original<br />

has been remastered by the original<br />

composer, Yoko Shimomura (best known<br />

for Kingdom Hearts) and it’s utterly jaw<br />

dropping how she modernizes the music<br />

while retaining the magic of the originals.<br />

There’s not a single dud here, and it speaks<br />

volumes to her talent and skill. And even if<br />

you prefer the originals, the game allows<br />

you to swap back and forth between the<br />

original renditions and the remade ones.<br />

Another aspect that<br />

serves as a doubleedged<br />

sword is the<br />

length of the game. It<br />

is very short by RPG<br />

standard, clocking in<br />

between 10-15 hours<br />

depending on whether<br />

you try to find all the<br />

secrets and easters<br />

eggs or complete every<br />

sidequest there is. It<br />

is a relatively short<br />

adventure, but on<br />

the bright side, the<br />

pacing of the game<br />

is incredible. The experience may not be<br />

long, but it’s tight pacing makes sure that<br />

it never feels like you’re experiencing any<br />

padding or that you level up too slowly<br />

simply to extend your game time. There’s<br />

not much post-game content either, the<br />

remake adds some boss rematches, but<br />

that’s about it, however, since it’s a short<br />

and enjoyable experience, I’m much more<br />

inclined to replay something like this than<br />

the behemoth Xenoblade Chronicles for<br />

example (which can be between 60-100<br />

hours).<br />

Verdict<br />

Everything about Super Mario RPG screams<br />

“baby’s first RPG” from the combat to the<br />

story. Luckily, the game is fully aware<br />

of what it is, and never tries to be more<br />

grandiose in its storytelling or deep in its<br />

gameplay mechanics, instead refining the<br />

elements it has to a brilliant shine. The story<br />

is silly and goofy, laying the foundation<br />

for that brilliant Mario RPG humor that<br />

its spiritual successors would use after<br />

it. With a masterful graphical overhaul<br />

and an excellent soundtrack to boot, the<br />

remake invites you into its sprawling and<br />

wonderful world. The gameplay is a finely<br />

tuned clockwork that, even though it’s a<br />

bit on the easier side, is engrossing to play<br />

and master. Albeit it’s a shorter adventure<br />

than most RPGs, every second is a delightful<br />

marvel. Old fans will find this a worthy<br />

remake of one of their favorite games, and<br />

new players will definitely fall in love with<br />

it. Super Mario RPG is an incredible blast<br />

from the past, and still proves that it stands<br />

as one of Nintendo’s and Square’s most<br />

successful and brilliant ventures in the<br />

library of Mario spin-offs.<br />

<strong>DESEMBER</strong> 2023 <strong>UNIKUM</strong> NR 10 39

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