- May 13, 2013
High time to start the Vilnius Juwenalia
The Faculty of Economics and Informatics of the Vilnius branch of University of Białystok will be organizing on next Thursday another edition of Juwenalia – the annual feast and street rejoicings of university students, alongside numerous events and parties organized by students for students. They are mighty popular amongst the European students, yet they are not common in Lithuania. But who knows? The youth is quite alike all around the world – always willing to have fun and attend parties… Perhaps the Lithuanian students will also get to like such events in Lithuania. For the time being, the Vilnius branch of University of Białystok has been a pioneer and has had already numerous achievements to boast about.
“Our offer and invitation is also directed to the Lithuanian students. The most effective method is a direct invitation, which young people hear through the grapevine. All of our students have Lithuanian acquaintances, studying at the Lithuanian universities, they are befriended, related to them, someone may have his great love amongst them. Hence, we host students from various universities and even cities, which makes us truly elated” – declares Justyna Mazerati, coordinator of Juwenalia on behalf of the university authorities.
“We are willing to introduce new traditions to Vilnius, as well as to integrate and socialise the youth. We want our students to remember the time of their studies as one of their best life experiences, new friendships and challenges. Being a student means not only studying hard, but also social life and getting to know new people. I would like to encourage my students to get involved in the full range of activities, as much as possible” – stated dr hab. Jarosław Wołkonowski (PhD), the dean of the Faculty of Economics and Informatics of the Vilnius branch of University of Bialystok. The students followed obediently this appeal of their dean and started with adverting their university.
The Juwenalia festivities of the Vilnius branch of the University of Białystok have been held since 2010, when they were first inaugurated with the bike rally and crowned with the best lecturer election, followed by an excellent party in the Polish Culture Centre in Vilnius. The following editions were more or less successful, but the students always strived for inventing something new every year.
The students are already well-experienced, since they have been continuing this tradition for… 2 thousand years. The first Juwenalia was organized in Rome in 59 B.C. on the initiative of the emperor Nero. The reason was trivial – he demanded organizing the celebration to add splendour to the act of shaving his beard. The young aristocratic Romans did not need to be asked twice and relished in parties, performances, carousing as much as possible. The name of the festivities derives from the Latin word “iuvenalis”, which means “youthful”.
Poland can also boast about a long tradition of Juwenalia, which dates back to the 15th century. The tradition arose in Cracow, where it was first introduced in the golden age of The Jagiellonian University. The Cracow Juwenalia festivities are still prestigious and pioneer in continuing this tradition. They are participated by plenty of students not only from Cracow, but also from other Polish cities, even including the graduates of the Cracow Alma Mater. It is by far the most colourful student celebration in the whole country. No wonder that other universities vie with one another to organize more spectacular Juwenalia. Therefore, various ideas are invented, the festivities are planned long beforehand and are perfectly organized within the scope of marketing, so that the student’s spontaneity and impulsiveness are sometimes seriously restrained.
Nonetheless, the Juwenalia are still a well-liked and expected student celebration. Perhaps, due to the lack of classes during these days, or maybe because this is the last chance to revel before the exam session. Or maybe because of… spring, May…
Most importantly, the keys to the city gates are symbolically handed over by the mayor to the students in numerous cities. Juwenalia are celebrated with different names, depending on a school or a city. Today students do not only celebrate Juwenalia, but also APSurdalia (Academy of Special Education in Warsaw), Cieszynalia (Silesian University, the branch in Cieszyn), Neptunalia (Gdańsk University), Bachanalia (University of Zielona Góra) and – last but not least – Pogonalia of the Technical University in Białystok (since the times of the High School Engineering). High time to take over the idea, name and… adopt it to Lithuania. The Lithuanian Pahonia can finally debut in another form!
These are just unconstrained ideas for the future. In connection with this year’s Juwenalia, held by the Vilnius branch of University of Białystok, the bike rally will be started at 16.00 on 16th May. Invented in a form of a terrain game on the streets, the rally has been a permanent constituent of the Vilnius Juwenalia. A complete novelty will be The Intellectual Battle, which will take place in café Sakwa at 18.00.
“Everything is organized by the students, we support them financially and assist them by judging their ideas on their own merits. Justyna Mazarati, our recent graduate and coordinator of Juwenalia on behalf of the university authorities, has been working in the dean’s office. She is perfectly aware of the needs of the students and has a flexible approach to them because of her impressive communication skills” – remarks dr hab. Jarosław Wołkonowski (PhD).
Friday will certainly be the most demanding day for the students, as they will have to wake up early in the morning in order to take part in canoeing trip down the river Neris. Those who would not be willing to participate in the trip, can get involved in some sport activities, such as basketball, volleyball and other joyful outdoors games. In the evening they are invited to the party in the student club Cocainn.
While the students will be sleeping off the previous night, their lecturers will be encouraging the prospective students to bet on the Vilnius branch of University of Białystok. The series of lectures for the graduates of the Polish schools in Lithuania will be held under a banner “Become a student for one day!”. One of them, entitled: “How to become a hacker?”, represents a wide variety of the topics presented on the Saturday’s offer of the Vilnius university.
Jarosław Wołkanowski explains that the Juwenalia festivities are perfect opportunity to promote the university. “Nothing encourages more than a direct contact between pupils and students, as well as having fun together. There have been some meetings of our lecturers with the graduates of the Polish schools from Vilnius and the Vilnius region, but this is another encouragement, more direct and perhaps even more effective one” – declares dr hab. J. Wołkanowski.
Altogether 547 students have been currently studying at both departments – Economics and Informatics. The university can boast about 236 graduates.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that everybody is invited to take part in the Juwenalia festivities – all those, who are willing to participate, without taking into account their age, nationality, religion or political preferences. Cheerful mood and activity are always welcome.
The detailed programme is available here: www.uwb.lt
Within the scope of encouragement, we invite you to watch the coverage of the previous editions of Juveniles held by The Faculty of Economics and Informatics of the Vilnius branch of University of Białystok.
Tłumaczenie by Joanna Mirek w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Joanna Mirek within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.