In the last few weeks, you may have noticed some strange looking people in the streets of Veszprém dressed up as Jack Frost, Alice from Wonderland or an ancient Egyptian pharaoh. It is not a dress-ball; it is one of the biggest festivals of the University of Pannonia which is called ‘VEN’ or University Days of Veszprém. Here are some details to raise your attention.
VEN has a very long history. It was first organised in 1969 by some enthusiastic students and professors who wanted to make university life more colourful in Veszprém. Soon after, the University of Days of Veszprém became a model for other universities all around Hungary that makes our students very proud. Obviously, at the very beginning its structure and traditions were quite different as it was not about music. It was only an informal meeting for all university citizens where they could talk and entertain each other with colourful programmes and different kinds of games. These programmes also gave them the opportunity to escape from the grey and busy weekdays and the monotonous world. Soon it became one of the most dominant festivals of the region by attracting hundreds of visitors from the nearby cities and towns. This one-week long event offered a wide variety of programs not only for fun but also for the purpose of different competitions.
Today, five teams are fighting to be the best team of campus. The winner group’s candidate becomes the student rector of the university until the next VEN. These five teams are always formed of students based on their study programs. All of the groups are led by their own a candidates with their two ‘campaigners’ or helpers who stick with them through thick and thin in order to reach the desired goal. Of course, this title involves different responsibilities as the student rector of the university becomes the leaderof the institution for a whole day, he or she even wears the rector’s chain and take actions, too. However, the road ahead is a long one as the groups have to prepare flags, songs, newspapers, movies, lectures, shows and team t-shirts in order to convince the jury and the students. During the week there are preparations, movie nights, inverse lectures, concerts and parties. Thefestival is eventually terminates with the election ceremony at the end of the week.. As a matter of curiosity, the first female student rector was only elected in 2015, until this year only men won this prestigious title.
This year there are 4 groups competing at the University Days: VENtarktisz, VENdetta, KaraVEN, and VENderland. As you may have noticed, the word ‘VEN’ can be found in all of the names however, the themes by which the groups are organised are quite different. VENtarktisz -like Antarctic- is full of winter characters. VENdetta consists of ‘venonymous’ people for anarchy. KaraVEN –like caravan- is coming from Egypt with Pharaon Gé. Finally, VENderland will introduce you to the crazy world of Alice from Wonderland in a special Hungarian way. For further information check out the groups on facebook, but you may also join and help them during the events.
At the beginning, there were only a few visitors to the programmes, nowadays there are about 20 000 guests at each event. Some of the traditions have changed in the last 40 years, but the purpose remained the same: entertain the audience and be best team of the university. Please note that University Days are only organized in every two years, and if you miss out on this one you have to wait a few years till the next one. Stay tuned, as in addition to the colourful programs, famous Hungarian bands will be playing every night during the week.
I hope that will all the information above I managed to raise your attention and you will decide to participate in the VEN this year. Further information can be found on the official facebook page of VEN (@VEN2017) where you can find the ticket prices, the list of the programs and the groups of 2017. If you would like to see pictures about previous VENs you should visit egyetemunk.com and click on the gallery.