Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Aluba Revisited

I just learned about "aluba"...which...well, apparently it seems among schoolboys that shoving your buddy junk first into a tree, pole or windowsill is a sign of friendship, and I am really not sure what to say about it other than "that sounds like fraternity hazing for teenagers". I was reminded of things I heard about in college: guys called up at 3am and told to prepare 1000 jell-o shots in an hour if they wanted into the frat, or to streak across campus successfully (without getting arrested). Girls stuck in the Circle of Fat (sorority sisters sit around a pledge and use Sharpies to draw circles around areas that "need improvement"), among other things.

But oddly, despite the obvious "ball-busting" aspect of aluba, it seemed oddly less cruel, less objectively mean, than any of the above Greek rush horrors.

After doing a bit of asking around, I learned that almost every Taiwanese guy I know has had it done or know someone who has, and it is considered a true rite of friendship (apparently they don't whack your crotch against the tree that hard. Or something. You gotta trust your bros. Or something).

Here's some interesting reading on the topic:  All about aluba in the Taipei Times

Isla Formosa's blog post on it from the naughts

I got interested in it because of something I saw at an annual party earlier this year:

You can't see it, but just beyond that larger fellow exiting stage right is a pole, and they were clearly trying to do this to their coworker, despite none of them being school-age.

Their buddy escaped:

I didn't know what to make of this until someone mentioned "aluba" and described it to me.

And then it all made sense.

So, uh, wow. My asking around, like the writers of the content in the above links, didn't turn up much on the way of its origins - just that it's a thing. And, from the amount of guys who have admitted it's happened to them (most notably with a fire extinguisher, which was then used on the hopeless aluba'd guy), it's still very much in practice.

What else can I say?


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info! At the end of my first year of university teaching in Taiwan, back in 1993, my engineering students picked me up and tried to "aluba" me against a telephone pole. Only now do I realize they weren't simply getting revenge for all my quizzes.

Jenna Cody said...

Nope, turns out they really liked you and thought of you as a brother...which is why they tried to bash your testicles against a phone pole! Wooo!