Last Thursday both the Senior Buddy Program and Fadderiet had their sittnings and I thought I’d tell a bit more about this student tradition which takes place in universities both in Sweden and Finland. Basically sittning is a dinner party which usually includes a three-course meal. But it’s not just like any normal dinner as it involves specific traditions and rules that need to be followed.
One core element of a sittning is singing. During the dinner everyone gets two shots, one in the beginning of the meal and one during dessert. You are only supposed to take a sip of your shot after singing a drinking song. Usually there are a few songs in English but most of them are in Swedish. I think our exchange students did surprisingly good with the songs for that they had no idea how to pronounce the lyrics . In addition to the songs there is other entertainment too – something called a spex. Briefly, spex is some kind of performance during the dinner. It can be a sketch, a dance performance, a game or pretty much anything else! For example, during our dinner the buddies their own dancing choreographies to various Swedish songs.
During the dinner there are certain rules to follow. When toastmasters, the hosts of the evening, step on stage and start talking, the audience has 3 seconds to be silent (5 if there is some serious flirting going on with your table partner!). You are only allowed to leave the table during breaks and you are always supposed to sit next to the opposite sex. There are several other rules as well.
The dress-code varies from sittning to sittning. You might be expected to dress funny according to a certain theme. In my first-ever sittning my group had to be dressed as characters from Harry Potter for example. In these events the crazier you go with your outfit the better. Some sittnings on the other hand are so-called “finsittnings” which means a fancy dinner event. There the dress code is suits for the gentlemen and cocktail dresses for the ladies so it’s an opportunity to really dress up. Our dinner last week belong to the latter category so everyone was dressed to impress and looking really beautiful and handsome.
After the dinner and the formal part of the evening it is time to loosen up and hit the dance floor as the after party goes on all night. When you have the chance, I definitely recommend attending as these events are always super fun!
Until next time,