Nefa-Jyväskylä, the Student Association of Ethnology, Anthropology and Cultural Policy Students in Jyväskylä
NEFA-Jyväskylä ry is the student association of ethnology, anthropology and cultural policy students in the University of Jyväskylä. We study in KUMU degree programme (in English: Culture, Communities and Change) in Department of History and Ethnology (HELA) . NEFA-Jyväskylä ry was founded in 1973 as a sub-organization of NEFA Norden, the Danish umbrella organization for students of ethnology and folklore. Unfortunately, NEFA Norden stopped operating in the 2000s. In 2010, NEFA Norden was replaced with Kulo ry, a Finnish umbrella organization for various student associations focusing on cultural studies, such as ethnology, folkloristics, anthropology, literature, media culture or musicology. NEFA-Jyväskylä ry is nowadays an active member of Kulo ry.
NEFA-Jyväskylä ry represents ethnology, anthropology and cultural policy students in Jyväskylä. Nefa co-operates with the Student Union of the University of Jyväskylä (JYY) and works for the good and rights of its members. Nefa keeps contact with other cultural studies associations around Finland, usually through the umbrella organization Kulo. Furthermore, Nefa has interdisciplinary collaboration with other student associations in Jyväskylä, especially with the history students.
The student association is run by the board consisting up to 11 persons. The board is elected annually and all the board members have their own responsibilities. Nefa’s current chairperson is Heli Ylikoski, and you can contact her if you have any questions about Nefa. The person in charge of international affairs in 2022 is Rita Miettinen.
Nefa keeps in contact with its exchange students and organizes intercultural events, such as parties and board game nights, to integrate them to the community. Exchange students are always welcome to our other activities as well, in which case you should join our group on Facebook to know what is going on in Nefa. Welcome aboard!
Join us on Facebook and follow on Instagram
Join our mailing list nefa-jkl [a] lists.jyu.fi
JYU Department of History and Ethnology Internationals on Facebook
Different events are organized throughout the year. Some are old, annual events that are organized every year, but most of them are tailored to our current students’ interests and are organized only if there are enough people to join. All exchange students are welcome to join in on the fun and meet the other members of NEFA-Jyväskylä. The board usually informs the members of our association about the events in our Facebook-group and through nefa-jkl(a)lists.jyu.fi -mailing list.
Huutoyö or ”Noise Night” (April)
In the olden days, people used to scare off wolves from the city by making loud noises and yelling to Saint George to keep his dogs tied up. The traditional festival is held on Jyrki’s (George’s) nameday on the 23rd of April. The tradition has come from Eastern Europe and has been especially strong in the traditions of Carelia and Eastern Finland. To continue the tradition, Nefa along with anyone else who wants to join, brings pots, pans, instruments and anything else to make noise with. Starting with a simple meal of bread, jams, cheeses and so forth, the idea has been to travel in one group around the city center yelling and making noise begging Saint George to tie up his dogs. Please!
Newbies’ evening (September)
is meant for all KUMU students and serves as an informal get-together for them after the summer holidays. But, above all it is a chance to meet the First Years! Introductory rounds are kept, drinking games are played and even singing Karaoke is allowed usually.
Kiviniemi’s Sauna Night (September-October)
Slightly passed Kortepohja, is a small cottage by a lake. An annual tradition allows students to go swimming one last time before winter. Refreshments are served indoors and a campfire and some music entertains students outdoors. As part of the tradition, everyone gathers around in a circle and introduces themselves and tells something fun or embarrassing about themselves. Oooh, can’t wait!
”Fuksit” means first year students and Fuksiaiset serves as a rite of passage for first year university students. New students get to know each other and some of the traditions of Nefa. Freshmen form groups which are led by older students, and complete silly and/or strange tasks in different checkpoints around Seminaarinmäki area.
Kekri or Halloween (October/November)
Though originally celebrated on the 30th of October, Halloween is tradtionally celebrated in Finland on Pyhäinpäivä (early November). Although a recently new event for Nefa-Jkl, this event is as eagerly awaited for as any other! Candies, cakes and other goodies have been offered and the event has sometimes included carving oranges into pumpkins as well as many other fun games including also a costume contest.
Pre-Christmas Party (November/December)
The Pre-Christmas Party is organized by the first year students. Part of Nefa-Jkl’s pre-Chritmas tradition includes some fun costume theme as well as a warm, welcoming and joyous athmosphere, and some Christmassy food.
Original text: H.C.?, modified by V.H. 2021