Photographer:Fotograaf: Loraine Bodewes
MAASTRICHT. Prince Bastiaan 1st and his Tempeleers put Vrow Wielemösj on the stage at Student Services last Thursday. In doing so, the landlady from the Platielstraat, the symbol of student Carnival, is back where she belongs. For the past two or three years she had remained in storage with the Maastricht Carnival Association, because the annual festivities surrounding Wielemösj had gotten out of hand. For a long time, the Tempeleers presented the doll to one of the student associations who was then supposed to guard her as well as possible against abduction by the other associations. This is how she ended up in the tower of the Sint Jan church and in the caves of the Sint Pietersberg. This tradition came to an end when students broke into the Landbouwbelang – where she was hidden - and there were casualties because of broken glass. “That was taking things too far,” says Paul Joosten, one of the 33 Tempeleers and chairman of the PR committee. “Challenging is alright, breaking and entry is not.”
So now Vrow Wielemösj is back (although the kidnapping tradition is no more) and that is the first step in a closer co-operation with Maastricht University, Joosten explains. “We want to keep the Carnival tradition alive and also involve young people. We had a brainstorming session with students, Pascal Breuls (director of SSC) and Fons Elbersen (director of marketing and communication) about how we could strengthen the relationship between us and the UM. We are elaborating on that now.” This should all come together in 2017. In addition to the traditional student ball, Joosten is thinking about, for example, “lessons in carnavalogy for students”.
Will the role of prince also be open to people not from Maastricht? “You don’t need to have been born here, but you do have to live in Maastricht. You do have to speak dialect, but you can learn that.” And women? Will they have the opportunity of becoming a princess? Joosten is cautious: “I’m not ruling anything out, times are changing, I am up for a surprise. But I do depend on the Kanselarij council who choose the prince every year.”