Friday, 8 May 2009


This is my third consecutive May in Poland (words like 'glutton' and 'punishment' spring to mind) and yet I've never quite got to grips with Juwenalia , the annual student summer festival.

This year, however, I'm a registered student at the Jagiellonian University (known as 'UJ', pronounced - with English spelling - as 00h-yacht) with a real legitimacja and everything, so I want to take advantage of the festive times.

I know that there have been concerts all week, on a temporary stage outside the student halls of residence - which thankfully I do not inhabit - but apart from that I've never really worked out what it's all about.

I asked a friend from salsa class.

- Well... everyone gets the day off on Friday, no classes at all.

Bonus! Although I quite like our Friday classes: they start early so there's usually not too much of a crowd, and it's conversation class: not as mentally taxing as grammar (besides which, Pani Kinga often has sweeties in her handbag).

- Ok, but what's actually happening on Friday?
- Well, the students dress up and we march to the Rynek, and then they hand over the keys of the town to us for the duration.


- So what does that mean?
- Students rule the town! We get to make the rules for a day and basically we can do what we want.
- Great! But what does that actually mean? In practice I mean?

She thought for a bit.

- ummm..... oh! It means you can drink from an open can of beer on the Błonia!

The Błonia is a huge triangle-shaped common to the west of the city centre. Needless to say, open-air drinking is forbidden in Kraków, with police cars regularly patrolling the banks of the river at night.

Well this is great news - and there's no more time to lose!

I'm off, to exercise my limited sovereignty over the beautiful city of Kraków.

plik! fiizzzzzzz...


Norman said...

Pino, there's a big party at Airfield Museum. Die Toten Hosen is playing. At no cost for students :]
Everyone reading this blog: if You have opportunity, go there!

pinolona said...

Thanks Norman, but for all that I'm actually going to the farewell party of a non-student friend tonight.

Oh and the open beer thing? Apparently not true after all. :(

Norman said...

Pino, two years ago it was true and announced at the Rynek Party. This year i haven't heard of it.
But some sources say (one police man included) this rule is valid only at party places.

Die Toten Hosen was best party for masses at this years Juwenalia. You should regret. :]

pinolona said...

Norman, if it was such a good party, what on earth are you doing commenting on my blog at 01.14 this morning? Shouldn't you still be out dancing?!

Bennox said...

So did you actually go to the parade? That's the most interesting part of Juwenalia. As for drinking in public places, I saw the police stopping and fining people both last year and the year before. In the former case it was on the Rynek, as soon as the organised part came to an end, and they made a beeline for students who were speaking English.

pinolona said...

oh.... no I didn't. Too early in the morning :)

Anonymous said...

"too early in the morning" ,"farewell party of a non-student"...

I think what Pinolona wants to say is "I AM TOO OLD FOR THIS BS !" lol.

pinolona said...

Not true! Everyone knows old people get up earlier...
(besides which, what I actually did on Friday morning was to go rollerblading for two hours, not exactly the favoured activity of the average geriatric :)