I'm an official member of Uplands Nation. In honor of the new members, there was a gasque yesterday. It's a formal dinner party with pre-dinner drinks, a three course meal, and an after party. I wore my black dress with heels partly and boots partly. My friend Amanda helped me with my makeup (mascara, eye shadow, and eye liner oh my!) and curled my hair.
We met at the nation at 15 having missed the dk. DK means you show up between 15 and 1530, but most people show up at the later time. They took up along with the drums and flags to the main university building where we gathered with all the other nations. They had a three hour long ceremony where the president of Uppsala University and other officials gave speeches all in Swedish. The university orchestra played and the Norrlands choir sang. I loved that part of it.
Afterward, we went back to Uplands and had pre-dinner drinks for an hour (maybe?). I changed into heels at that time and managed not to fall over in them at all during the night. I wore my boots for the after party, because no way was I going to dance in heels! It was nice to see some people I met at the sexta. I also met several new people, including a girl named Anna (yes, like in Frozen!).
I choose not to drink alcohol and said so when I registered for the gasque. At the dinner, I was given a nice alcohol free apple cider. The appetizer was a fried potato with avocado, tomato, and onion. The main course was a rice circle with green beans, carrots, and mushrooms in a sauce. Desert was jam with vanilla pudding.
The thing about a gasque is that it's not really about the food. It's a very social event and you sing a lot. I was given a red and gold songbook that I will always have. I couldn't understand most of the songs, but I'm at a place where I've learned the alphabet and most of the vowels to be able to pick up on the pronunciation. I also found a song about the lovely cafe I go frequent Ofvandals. Songs are lead by the song master and the song apprentice.
After every song, you toast or skål (pronounced skool). First, the person on your left, then the person diagnoal, then the person across from you. You drink and then reverse it. It took me a while to catch on to it, but I got it by the end of the night. It got harder when the made us tie our hands together (which actually wasn't a problem for me, since I am left handed and was sitting on the end).
Some of the songs were hilarious. At one point they we did a charade song where we had to be a ballerina, a car, and a horny cheetah. We did a congo line and went out to the garden before desert where we sacrificed a member of V-Dala in a Viking-esq ritual asking for the sun to come back. Uplands dispises V-Dala because they built a really ugly white building right next to Uplands and it blocks the sunset. The nation's choir and jazz band also played during the night.
Afterward, I danced with my new found friends and fellow members. It was so much fun. It was the first time I felt really really really happy since being in Uppsala.
You can read more about how a gasque works here: http://www.uppsalastudentkar.se/international-students/life-uppsala/useful-links/going-gasque