Digital Christmas dinner – a new student union tradition?

​The pandemic may mean that we can’t gather for a traditional Christmas dinner, but a true Chalmerist doesn’t see problems – only challenges. So, the Chalmers Student Union arranged a digital Christmas dinner where 800 streams started with participants at a distance from student halls, rental rooms and collectives all around Gothenburg.
Chalmerist or not. Everyone who wanted was welcome to pre-book their vegan or traditional Christmas plate at Kårrestaurangen and pick it up at a stated time on Friday or Saturday. It was herring or pickled shiitake, Jansson's and Vegansson's temptation, meatballs, cold meats and salads, combined with cheeses and Christmas sweets. In addition, the restaurant had listed recommended beverages of different strength and taste, but one had to procure them oneself.

Exciting flavors to look forward to
Some of those first in line to pick up their food were the international students Sofia and Annalena.
“I think this is a fantastic idea by the Student Union and as an international student I see it as a unique chance to get a taste of Sweden, now that we can’t do it any other way,” said Annalena from Germany who is studying in the field of Civil Engineering.
Materials Engineering master's student Sofia from Italy agreed.
“I am really looking forward to seeing what kind of food it is. And to the broadcast!” she said.
Next in line, at a proper distance, were the two undergraduate Biological Engineering students Albin and Erik, waiting with Filip, who is an undergraduate student in Physics.
“I think this will be an unforgettable experience,” said Albin.
“It really will”, Filip agreed.
“It will be exciting to taste the vegan Christmas plate, it is the first time for me,” said Erik.
None of them really knew what to expect from the livestream, but they agreed that the initiative brought some light into this strange time of social distance and distance learning.
“Above all, I look forward to getting a little Christmas feeling. Christmas feeling and Brussels sprouts!” said Albin.

Everyone contributed to the success
And so, on Saturday, December 12, it was time. In front of the fireplace in a self-built studio in Kårhuset, the hosts Viktoria Bogren and Sebastian Ringqvist welcomed everyone with a Christmas poem. Then they lit the candles and the party was on.
The Chalmers Choir supported the singing and during the evening, classic elements such as a rhyming cabin and Christmas crafts were interspersed with humor and “spex”. And to give time and space to enjoy the food, Svea Skivgarde provided the dinner music.
A couple of days later, the experience has had time to sink in with the Christmas hosts.
“It's so cool how we at Chalmers can organize something like this together, completely non-profit,” says Sebastian Ringqvist. ”We come up with an idea and everyone contribute with their skills. And I think we created something really nice together, in true Chalmers spirit.”

The ingenuity and creativity of the students was something that both President Stefan Bengtsson and union chairman David Welander praised in their respective speeches during the Christmas dinner. That the Chalmerists constantly think outside the box as well as work together as one big family.

“It was so impressively supported by our societies and committees and with everyone who contributed in different ways,” says Viktoria Bogren. “The best part of the evening, in my opinion, was the commitment from the viewers, all the rhymes they sent to the rhyme cabin. We had a desire to have the viewers involved and that succeeded beyond expectations!”
Sebastian Ringqvist agrees.
“Yes, I will carry the feeling of family with me for a long time. This was a fantastic opportunity for more people than usual to join. It did not feel at all like an emergency solution, on the contrary. I’m excited to see what new traditions can come from this!”

Text: Helena Österling af Wåhlberg
Photos: CFFC

Page manager Published: Mon 21 Dec 2020.