Author: Dan Bernick, C’14

In middle school, I played Tevye the Dairyman in Fiddler on the Roof. (Suffice it to say my acting career began and ended that year).

Tevy’s whole life was tradition, from the work he did to the ways his daughters were married. The play is about adapting these traditions in light of changing circumstances.

Penn is full of tradition and traditions. Fling has been around for 40 years, as has the Undergraduate Assembly (our 41st term started last night!).

There are some traditions at Penn that have disappeared. The tradition of the Rowbottom has not been seen (or heard) for years, and the Bowl Fight is long gone.

Some have been transformed. SkimmerFest is a result of Callow Day becoming Skimmer becoming Fling and then being brought back as Skimmer and then joining with SPEC’s Fall Fest to become Skimmerfest. The toast toss at Franklin Field has also evolved over the years.

This past weekend, Penn began a new tradition: Penn Holi, a celebration of spring. For some, the idea of a new tradition is oxymoronic. But Penn students understand new traditions are born all the time out of enthusiasm for the school, and that we should welcome novel ideas even as we carry forward the events of yesteryear.


Photo credit: Penn Class Boards

Photo Credit: Penn Class Boards

Traditions are part and parcel of a Penn education. And whether they are generations old or brand new, they bring our community closer together.

As I reflect on my last three years and prepare for Hey Day (another great Penn traditions), I am humbled to be part of something much bigger than myself…to be part of Penn Traditions.


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Filed under Campus Life, Daniel B., Student Perspective, Traditions, Uncategorized

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