Pancakes on the run

Have you ever heard of the Pancake-Eating-Running-Festival? It may sound strange to citizens of Aarhus, but it did happen here last Tuesday at Studenterhus Aarhus.

The festival, which is widely popular in the Netherlands, was organised for the first time in Aarhus, and the whole of  Denmark. Britt Van Veggel, who brought the festival to Aarhus, was a familiar participant and organiser in similar events in the Netherlands. The Dutch student missed the atmosphere of pancake races when she was in her exchange semester here, so decided to organise the very-first Pancake-Eating-Running-Festival here in Aarhus, where pancakes are favoured by most Danes, and the environment of the city is widely open to new ideas.

What’s it all about?
A Pancake-Eating-Running-Festival is quite simple. Within 30 minutes, participating teams of three have to run around two floors, along a long hall with staircases on both sides to a table placed on each level. Each team has to organise who will eat and who will run.

When a runner reaches a table, someone in the team has to eat a pancake. Once his or her mouth is empty and checked by organisers, that participant (or someone else of the team) has to run to the other table. The team that finishes the most pancakes in 30 minutes is the winner.

Get your pancake done quickly
Eat those pancakes as quickly as you can!

Herculean preparation 
The event took Veggel one and a half months to prepare, from finding a place and looking for volunteers, to creating events on Facebook and buying the elements needed for the run. Due to some misunderstandings from the shipping agent, Veggel had to bike around Aarhus to buy the pancakes, not just 10, but 400 hundred for the race! Veggel recalls clearing the shelves of pancakes at all the stores she went to, once taking up to 80 pancakes. “I had to tell the cashier I was super hungry,” says Veggel.

However, Veggel did not organise everything by herself. She had support from another 10 volunteers, a sponsorship from iMentor Aarhus via Steffan Schmid, and an app for checking pancakes coded by her Dutch friend, Frank Van Hoof.

Pancakes to be served
The help of volunteers was essential


The players
There were 18 participants (or 6 teams) to join in the race. Most of them were Science and Technology students; some were internationals.

See some funny moments of the race below.

Run, pancake lovers, run 2
“I am getting that pancake!”
Open your mouth
“Did you finish? Open your mouth!”
Run, pancake lovers, run
Run Forest, run!
A fun race
The stairs were the hardest part

The winner was Team Olympic, finishing 47 pancakes in 30 minutes! This was the first Danish record and surprisingly also the world record in Veggel’s experience. This was a bit ahead of the last record that Veggel had seen, of only 39 pancakes!

Result of the race
Announcement of the winners

Team Olympic is made up of Rune Gadegaard, Frederik Hvilshoj and Kristoffer Madsen. Three best mates thought they might be a strong team, so participated to find out that this was their game. After finishing 47 pancakes in half an hour, though all were full, everybody was able to save some space in their stomach for beer (not pancakes, of course!). Frederik, who ate the most among three with 18 pancakes, already thought about their readiness for future pancake-eating-running races. But they may take more training to get to the next level: 50 pancakes!

Team Olympic, the winner
The winning team, ready for beers!

To Britt Van Veggel, this event was one of her last activities in Aarhus before she leaves in January. However, with her dedication, Veggel is always ready to come back and help organise future pancake-eating-running festivals.

Britt Von Veggel, the organizer
A big Hi-5 for Veggel for organising

The Pancake-Running-Festival was held at Studenterhus in Aarhus on December 13. Check out this Youtube video from an event in the Netherlands.


Sơn tường (Painting together)


Chuyện sơn tường,

ISHCMC là một trường quốc tế ở TP.HCM. Tà Lài là một trường tiểu học ở Đồng Nai, giáp ranh vườn quốc gia Nam Cát Tiên.

Trưa hôm nay, 80 học sinh tiểu học của ISHCMC trong chuyến dã ngoại của mình đã đến trường Tà Lài. Trong một buổi trưa, học sinh của cả hai trường cùng nhau sơn lại bức tường đã cũ kĩ của trường Tà Lài. Các cô cậu bé vốn đã quen với tiện nghi đô thị lần đầu tiên cầm cây lăn sơn lại trường học cùng với những người bạn dân tộc thiểu số vốn sống trong thiếu thốn đủ bề.

Không ai làm thay các em, người lớn chỉ hướng dẫn rồi đứng ngoài quan sát. Ngôi trường sau một ngày trời rồi cũng được sơn xong.

“Đây chắc hẳn là lần đầu tiên chúng nó làm như thế” – Tôi hỏi
“Đúng vậy, tôi biết chuyện này là một thách thức lớn đối với bọn trẻ. Nhưng bọn chúng cần phải mở mang suy nghĩ của mình” – Thầy của chúng trả lời tôi như vậy

Đôi khi, giáo dục không hẳn chỉ cần nhét bọn trẻ trong những căn phòng đầy đủ tiện nghi mà còn phải quăng chúng nó ra ngoài cuộc sống nữa.

Tà Lài, 27/2/14


Painting together,

ISHCMC is one the most well-known international schools in HCMC. Ta Lai, in contrast, is a poor primary school located near Nam Cat Tien National Park.

Today, students from both school met. For the first time in their life, city kids who are used to modern life stood together with kids from ethnic minorities, whose life are much harder, to paint the school wall.

No adults got involved in, they just gave instructions and then observed the kids. They eventually finished after one day.

“This must be their first time to do things like these” – I said
“Yeah, I know this is such a big challenge to them, but they need to open their mind” – Their teacher said

Sometimes, education doesn’t mean bringing kids to our most modern classrooms but throwing them out to this real life.

Ta Lai, 27/2/14

P.S: In memory of my DG7 – Education on Nippon Maru, SSEAYP 2014.