Sitsit

What is sitsit?

Also known as sits, sitz, as sitting, and sitsfest.

This is a Nordic academic student event where people eat, drink, and sing specific prepared songs. The party can contain the program, and people will give speeches. University students mainly practice that. There is usually a topic or theme at the events, according to which you can or should dress.

Sitsit can be organized by a university Guild, any University organization, or even commercial partners. This is a significant part of Finnish life. If a student has never been to a Sitsit party in Finland, there is something wrong with this situation. 😆

There are strict traditional rules to be followed at the party, and everyone coming must act according to the etiquette.

Rules

Toastmasters. The toastmaster is a person who leads the Sitsit party and the songs. Respect the Toastmasters and always do what they say. Yes, this is a bit of a dictatorship.

Skål (external link). After each song, you say “Skål” (which means cheers in Swedish). You then Skål the person to your front right by looking them in the eye (if you don’t look them in the eye, it’s seven years of bad sex), touching cans/cans/bottles, and saying Skål. You continue doing the same thing to the person to your front left and the person in front of you before taking a sip from your drink.

Mellan sup. Swedish word for “in-between”. You drink a sip without cheering when you hear this during a song. And then keep on singing.

Singing. An important part and the main idea of a Sitsit party. You are welcome to suggest a song, but first, ask permission to speak from the toastmaster by raising your hand or in any other arranged way. Once you have permission, get up and introduce yourself.

Tempo. If Toastmasters say that, the tempo of the singing is incorrect: usually too slow.

Om start literally means “from the beginning,” usually used with a clarification. For example, “Om start säkeistö” (om start verse) means we should start the current verse again. This might happen when the singing, usually the melody, has gone wrong.

Breaks. Restroom visits and leaving the table are allowed only during the breaks, which the toastmaster announces.

Punishment. If you don’t follow the rules or arrive late, you will be made to do something embarrassing, for example, singing alone. So follow the rules! They are there to make the party enjoyable for everyone.

Don’t be late. If the party starts at 19:00, you should be sitting in your assigned place already. Yes, your seat is pre-assigned by the organizations. You must find it when you enter the venue but can’t sit until everyone is behind their chairs. Only with the permission of Toastmasters can you take your place.

Jatkot? What is that? This is the name of Afterparty. Depending on the organization, after Sitsit has ended, the room is clean, and the tables disappear – the afterparty is started.

Some other tips

Can you drink non-alcoholic beverages?

Yes, of course. And also, if you consume alcohol, drink water in between.

Should I start drinking before, at home?

Don’t pregame before sitsit. Arrive at the Sitsit venue with your head clear as water.

Can I bring my own drinks too?

Everything is permitted that is not banned.

Can I come to other sitsit parties that are organized by other guilds?

You must go everywhere; there are no boundaries.

Where can I get these songs we will sing?

Usually, the organizations prepare books, and many local students have their own books. The songbook in LUT and LAB is Punamusta.

If I don’t like my spot, I don’t want to sing, and I wish to sit in the corner with my friends. Can we bring our table and hang out without singing?..

Then it is better for you not to attend the Sitsit party or to wait until another event appears in the schedule.

Is there an ESN Sitsit party as well?

Yes: the Bring a Finn Sitsit. The idea of our Sitsit event is focused on our exchange and international degree students who invite a Finnish friend and come with them to our party. That promotes integration and internationalization.