Have you seen Finnish students walking around the city in their overalls ("haalarit") filled with patches and colors? What's going on, what are these weird party pants?
Wearing overalls is a very big tradition amongst students in Finland. One could say that the official party outfit of Finnish students are overalls. They represent you and your fellow students as a collective group, especially since every department or field of study has their own overall color and/or design. Overalls come in all colors: blue, black, white, yellow, green, red, pink... You can tell who belongs to your group just by checking out his/her overalls!
If you have overalls, you are most likely to have badges or patches ("haalarimerkki") on them too. (Plain overalls just look weird!) Different badges have different meanings as well. They tell where you have been, who your friends are, what you like, and which teams you support. Also, other party gear like handcuffs, whistles, and bottle openers can be attached to your overalls. You won't find two that look alike - they are all unique! It is also quite common to exchange parts of your overalls (usually sleeves) with other students. This shows love, friendship, the color of the subject you're minoring in, or even having two majors. You'll see people wearing them at every major student happening like parties, meetings, excursions to other cities, Vappu, Appro, etc.
Just remember: never wash your overalls! ;-)
ESN Jyväskylä had their first ESN overalls in the autumn of 2011 and they were a hit, so make sure you get a pair of your own this semester! Check out our blog post to find out more!