- July 9, 2012
Gathering of Polish Tourists in Lithuania, for the first time in Szyrwinty
The first proper weekend of July passed under the sign of Gathering of Polish Tourists inLithuania. Teams and individual participants met for the twenty-fourth time. There were eight teams participating and the winners were “Włóczędzy” [Vagabonds].
XXIV Gathering of Polish Tourists inLithuaniawas held was held on the bank of rived Juoda near the Żubiany village in Szyrwinty district. It was a debut since there were no gatherings in this region. Thus we head off for this “terra incognita.” First we learb that the main road is dank and is not fit for driving. Thus we go around. Later it would be called the road for the brave and the road for the sensible. The “sensible” variant actually had a surprise in the shape of a dank part about two hundred meters from the camp. Fortunately the owner of the place with a tractor truck and a towline solved the problem.
Additionally several sheets of concrete were placed along the way to make a road. Finally we reach the spot and the first thought is that it was worth the effort, since the location is splendid. On the hill there are spots for farmhouses, below volleyball court and a pool which could be seen clearly.
The gathering began traditionally, though with several new elements. The organizers rode around the farmhouses on horseback inviting the teams to an opening ceremony. Afterwards, traditionally there were greetings, speeches, raising the flag and singing the anthem of the gathering.. Afterwards there was also traditional introduction of the teams – this year there were eight, more than in the past few years. The leading theme of this year’s gathering was “Pan Tadeusz.” We could see several impersonations of Telimena, Zosia, Tadeusz, etc. It has to be said that there were many convincing interpretations and great fun was had by all. Once the presentations finished so did the official part. The teams were then headed for supper and a party and afterwards a huge campfire was lit up, brightening the area.
Second day is always a laborious one. The teams begin by cleaning up the area and almost immediately afterwards participate in an orienteering run. It should be noted that even early morning was hot so even small actions required much energy.
The temperature reached its apex when relay races started. Concurrently a volleyball tournament was going on, which is not counted in the final score.
More contests were held, including art contest and a culinary contest under the heading of “Ostatnia uczta staropolska.” The culinary contest is thought to be the most dangerous one for the jury. For some time now, the organizers have been making the task more difficult for the contestants by concealing the main necessary component until the last moment. This year it was cabbage.
Drugi dzień tradycyjnie wieńczą wybory Miss Zlotu, którą została w tym roku Alina z drużyny „Guciawka”.Poraz pierwszy odbyły się też wybory Miss Publiczności, którą została Kobieta Idealna z KWW – niewinność, mądrość i bogactwo połączone w jedną całość.
Second day is traditionally finished with electing Miss Gathering; this year it was Alina from “Guciawka” group. This year for the first time Miss Audience was elected – the award went to “Kobieta Idealna” [The Perfect Woman] from KWW – innocence, wisdom and wealth combined into one.
On the last day the teams had to pass tourist relay and best farmhouse contest. Though the day began with rain and fears whether the gathering will end with sunny weather. There was also the question of whether we will be able to leave the gathering on our own or whether we will need the help of the owner again. The weather proved generous however, and the sun shone over the gathering. So it was traditional but with new elements. And next year we will have special, 25th gathering.
Final Results of 24th Gathering of Polish Tourists InLithuania:
1. Klub Włóczęgów Wileńskich [Wilno Vagabonds Club]
2. Ł3KS, Kowalczuki
3. Legion 32, Wilno
4. Guciawka, Wilno
5. Studium, Wilno
6. UwB, Wilno
7. Biała Waka, Soleczniki district
8. Barskuny Team, Szyrwinty district
Tłumaczenie Andrzej Rola w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Andrzej Rola within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.