100 Day Celebration: differences between Poland and Lithuania

100 Day Celebration: differences between Poland and Lithuania

100 days of school left. What a time to be alive! With exams nearing and stress building, Poland has a wonderful tradition of relieving said stress in a fun and exciting way! Prom night!

Each year, 100 days before the end of the 12th school year, High Schools host this event called “studniówka”. It is for everyone involved to attend: students, teachers & school staff! 

Now you might be thinking “what is prom?”. I am joking, of course, you most likely already know what it is, but here is a short brief through! 

“Dance proms were inspired by Western traditions and found their way to Poland as the country embraced globalization and cultural exchange. It was introduced as a way to celebrate significant milestones in academic and social life. Evolving over time, they became a cherished tradition, symbolizing the transition from adolescence to adulthood and fostering a sense of unity and camaraderie among students nationwide.”

Thank you ChatGPT for this snippet on the history of proms! Now I know that “camaraderie” means “mutual trust and friendship among people who spend a lot of time together”. 

So, coming back to this prom night tradition, we can see that while proms arose from the US, it is now a foundational tradition and celebration in Poland! That is the beautiful thing about globalization, how we can share our cultures together and change our own traditions. If not for globalism, would we have kebabs?

In our volunteering group one person also had a prom night! Our very own Anastasia, who is volunteering in Liceum Ogólnokształcące nr XXVII im. dr. H. Jordana! Wow, what a long and complicated name. 

The 4th graders all spent an awesome evening and night at an abandoned train station where they danced and drank a lot of water! Nothing else. While “abandoned train station” sounds quite rough, it really is not. It is all renovated and beautiful! The place was prepared with lights, tables, a stage, heartbreak, dance choreography and anything else you would love to have in a prom. 

Anastasia stated: “it was a super nice and fun experience to see the students and teachers in a different situation <…> there were only good vibes, a lot of food and dancing until 3AM!”.

And you can really see it! The photos look stunning and it looked like it was an incredible amount of fun!

While Poland celebrates the growth and transition into adulthood with a prom night, other countries, such as Lithuania, have their own unique festivities. In Lithuania, for example, we celebrate 'šimtadienis’ or the 'Hundred Day’ with a different approach. Instead of a prom, students prepare a theater play, engaging in collaborative activities like script-writing, casting, and rehearsals throughout the school year. You can probably tell that I enjoyed it quite a lot! 

After performing our play twice in one day, most of us went to a rented out place for an incredibly fun, albeit a little unhinged party! It was a bit funny, as we were referring to one another the same way we did when we were acting.

Then after the exams came our own graduation party, which looked very similar to this type of Hundred Day Prom. 

To conclude this short article, the most important thing to remember is how wonderful sharing our cultures together can be. Without access to the internet or without much communication outside of your own small social bubble, you can not grow as a person, or in this case, as a nation. Imagine a life without most of these celebrations that connect people internationally! No Halloween, no Prom, no Christmas even! It would be very sad. 

To those who are nearing their exams, best of luck and I know you can do it! Just try and not let the stress get into your head too much. 

Thank you, Dear Reader, for making it to the end!

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