A student sitsit is a popular seated dinner at a long table, held by different student organisations throughout the year. This is a very famous tradition found at Aalto University, and students are encouraged to attend one of the Aalto sitsits. The sitsit I attended was catered to the newly joined students (also known as Fuksis) of the Computer Science Guild, Tietokilta ry (TiK). Therefore, the event was named Fuksisitsit.

The dress code for Fuskisitsit was cocktail, therefore giving us an opportunity to dress up for a school event. I joined the Fuksisitsit with some friends I met during the orientation week in Aalto, and we thoroughly had fun. The event started at around 1700 hrs, and we reached a bit early and took many pictures before the event started.

During a sitsit, a formal dinner is served, which includes soup, a main dish and dessert, served with alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. The organising committee usually asks beforehand for any special diets and preferences to avoid any mishaps during the event. The event is conducted by the toastmaster, who introduces the committee and the events for the evening.

The main highlight of the event, in my opinion, is the performances for the evening. This mainly consists of singing. Every attendee was provided with a song booklet, which includes various songs that are going to be sung during the evening. Before the start of each song, the song masters acquire our attention with a gong and together, the whole crowd proceeds to sing along. What if you don’t have any musical experience? Don’t worry too much. Everyone sings as a group. The sitsit I had attended was catered more to the Fuksis, most of who knew Finnish, hence the songs were a mix of English, Finnish and Swedish. My friends and I had a lot of fun trying to pronounce the Finnish words.

After the end of each song, we are meant to toast to the people sitting across us. The traditional order of toasting goes first to the left diagonal, then the right diagonal, and then directly across you. And each time you toast, you say ‘Skål,’ pronounced like ‘skoal,’ as look the person right in the eye. All of the food served during the Fuksisitsit was delicious, and the event altogether was a fun and must-not-miss for me. I regret not attending another sitsit, and if given a chance to visit Aalto University, I will definitely take up the opportunity to be part of this tradition.

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