Student traditions and sense of identity
The École normale supérieure de Paris, also called Normale Sup’, ENS or simply Ulm – as for them, alumni say “l’École” – has a multitude of traditions and a strong sense of identity, with its own customs, traditional events, specific places and even its own argot.
All these customs, events, places and argot have been constructed over the years, from the foundation of this institution in 1794 to nowadays, and are transmitted among the normaliens from generation to generation. The traditions and sense of identity are a real legacy and federate the students of the École normale supérieure into a fully-fledged community.
Small vocabulary for the use of the normaliens
As every grande école, the École normale supérieure has its own language – its argot – which allow the normaliens to communicate among themselves without being understood from outside people. Here you will find some clues.
This term, tender and amused at the same time, refers to the new generation of normaliens, i.e. the latest class (called promotion) of newly admitted students.
In the language of the normaliens, the thurnes — or turnes — denotes the dormitory rooms made available to the students of the École normale supérieure.
The InterQ and InterENS
Each year, students of the five French and transalpine Écoles normales supérieures (Paris, Lyon, Cachan, Rennes and Pisa) gather for one weekend and indulge in punchy artistic and sports competitions: the InterQ and InterENS.
The Nuit de la Rue d’Ulm
Nuit de la Rue d’Ulm is the other name of the traditional gala of the École normale supérieure de Paris. On this occasion, the ENS opens its doors for a night full of revelry.
The Mega refers to the integration weekend for the newly admitted students to the École normale supérieure. Each year, it takes place in a different place. On the agenda: sports activities, paper chase, picnics, and, of course, dance evenings!