Grand Sitsit at the Senate Square
Nearly two thousand students wearing student’s caps gather to the Senate Square, bringing out their dinner party traditions for all the city to see.
A toast will be raised to 150-year-old HYY and the 375-year-old student nation system at the Grand Sitsit academic dinner party organised by the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY) and the Co-delegation of student nations.
The event, held now for the third time, is unique among the entire country’s student culture. Besides the fact that dinner parties are usually celebrations of a couple of hundred people at best, it is exceptional that a dinner party is now held openly outdoors for all Helsinki to see.
We are expecting 1,920 participants for the Grand Sitsit, with most of them being people from HYY’s organisations and the Student Union. Some guests are also participating in the Grand Sitsit, including Chair of the Board of the University of Helsinki, President Tarja Halonen, and Deputy Mayor Anni Sinnemäki.
Singalongs in student spirit
The evening generally progresses in a manner familiar from other academic dinner parties: eating, drinking and singing together. Each student organisation has developed their own song traditions that differ from each other to some extent, but most organisations sing songs such as Helan går and Bellman’s songs. Well-known popular music songs are also sung at dinner parties, with the lyrics rewritten to depict student life.
On previous Grand Sitsit in 2012 and 2015, Finlandia and Helan går were among the songs sung in front of the Helsinki Cathedral.
On previous occasions, the joyous participants have been of interest to tourists in particular. The programme has included orchestras playing waltzes, spex shows, a choir spectacle and speeches.
‘This year, you can look forward to a slightly different programme, but it will include musical performances this time, too’, the Grand Sitsit’s Project Manager Hemu Lampinen from Eteläsuomalainen osakunta reveals.
‘An over-six-month project is about to reach its climax, which is a crazy thought! Creating an event like this has been interesting and at times challenging but, at the same time, very rewarding. The only thing we cannot influence is the weather, and we have been hoping for a warm and sunny day for the event since last autumn’, Lampinen states.
The Grand Sitsit are organised at the Senate Square from 5 pm onwards on 24 May. The party ends after 9 pm as the orchestra plays some waltzes.
Residents of the city and the media are more than welcome to watch the Grand Sitsit outside the actual event area.
Further information and requests for interviews:
Project Manager Hemu Lampinen
Tel. 040 090 3514