Gask is what you call a formal dinner at the Nation. These dinners are typical for the Nations, and are something you don’t want to miss during your time as a student in Uppsala. This is an introduction to things that are useful to know about gasks.
To be able to go to a gask, you have to have a ticket. The ticket usually includes a three course dinner, predrinks, one snaps, one beer and two glasses of wine. All of the beverages can be switched to non-alcoholic options. At Uplands, we also have a ticket that includes two glasses of wine with the main course, but the rest of the beverages are alcohol free. Coffee and avec will be served with the dessert. The avec is not included in the ticket, but can be served in exchange for a “snavec”-ticket that you will be able to buy during the pre-drink. The “snavec”-tickets could also be exchanged for a second snaps instead of avec.
During the dinner, it is customary to sing songs under the lead of our song conductors. It is the song conductors that choose which songs to be sung, that are either available in the Nation’s song book or from a song booklet. The dinners also usually include entrertainment from one of our associations. One of Uplands special associations is the orchestra Wijkmanska Blecket. Their performance is usually an experience in itself which you do not want to miss!
There are many traditions for gasks and how to act during them. As an active member of the Nation, you become used to them quickly, but it can be confusing if you have not been to a gask before. For that reason, we have made a list of things that can be good to know in advance.
At gasks, the dress code is usually stated in the event or on the invitation. There are a bunch of different dress codes, but the ones that are most common at Nations are Suit (Kavaj) and Formal (Högtidsdräkt).
Suit means suit, a dress or skirt that reaches the knees or a nicer pantsuit. During daytime, meaning before 15, and during the summer months, lighter colors are used. When wearing suit, it is customary to have a tie or bowtie. The jacket and pants should also be of the same colour. It is not customary to wear the Nation ribbon to a suit, but the Nation pin can be worn.
If you don’t have a suit, you are of course welcome anyway. You can just wear something that looks extra nice – everyone is welcome here!
The formal dress code means that you wear a tailcoat, a ballgown or native regional clothes. The gown should be in a finer fabric, look festive and reach the floor in length, without a slit. For the formal attire, you can also wear your medals and the Nation ribbon. The Nation ribbon can be bought from the First curator, and is worn across the chest under the jacket if you are wearing a tail coat and if you are wearing a gown you wear the ribbon as a rosette which can be fastened with the Nation pin (see picture below).
Uplands nation ribbon as a rosette with pin.
The rosette is ca nine centimeters wide, and this particular one is sown in the edges. Note that the Uplands ribbon never should be folded across the middle. That type of folding is common for rosettes, but should not be used for Uplands ribbon.
If you do not have formal attire, we can recommend looking in some of Uppsala’s second hand stores. Since Uppsala is a student city, it’s not uncommon to find formal clothes at them. Here is a list of some of the stores you can go to:
Myrorna, Kungsängsgatan 20. Central location, so it is easy to get to. There’s also a store at Bolandsgatan 15G.
Erikshjälpen, Bolandsgatan 8A. Well-sorted second hand a bit outside of the city but easy to get to by bike or bus.
Röda korset Second hand, Danmarksgatan 20B. Also a well sorted second hand which is only a couple of blocks away from Erikshjälpen, so visit both of them if you go!
General rules on behavior
- At the Nation’s dinners, it is strictly forbidden to start your own songs and toasts. The dinner is run by the Third curator and the song conductors, so you follow their lead.
- The snaps is drunk in three sips. This means that you are not supposed to chug it like a shot. If you have bought a Snavec-ticket, you can trade it for a refill after the third song has been sung.
- You should not put your personal belongings, such as handbags and cigarettes, on the table. These should instead be kept in your pockets or in your knee. For the handbag, you can buy a table holder with Nation logo for 50 kr from the First curators office.
- If you leave the table, the napkin is placed on the chair until you get back. If there is a refill of beverages coming while you are out, you will not be served and can not get it later. This is because we have to make sure that no-one gets too drunk.
If something happens
If something happens during the dinner that makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, do not hesitate to reach out to anyone in the staff. The Nation should be welcoming to everyone, and we do not tolerate any kind of discrimination.
The Nation is a welcoming place and all of us have been new to the traditions at one point. If it feels like a lot of rules to keep in mind. At the Reccegask, which is a gask that all of the Nations have at the beginning of each semester, you get a good introduction to how it works. If you haven’t been to a gask before, the Reccegask is a good way to start regardless if you are not a recce yourself, but most of all you should go to have fun!