A foreign student’s view on ‘WITmas’

Returning from a long day in Dublin in the early hours of Thursday morning, I disembarked at the Parnell Street bus stop at 2.30 am approximately.
Not having any idea about the tradition of ‘Christmas Day’ as it has become known locally, I was at a loss to explain why there were so many young men on the streets of Waterford, virtually all of them apparently drunk.
What I saw was, largely, all in good fun. The guys were happy in their inebriated states and there was a jovial and friendly atmosphere, as I’ve generally found to be the typical case during my time here in Ireland.
Intrigued by what I saw, I walked on a little and saw girls with very short skirts and men with a considerable level of clothing removed – far too much, if one can use one’s imagination to consider what I witnessed. All were waiting for a taxi, as I was myself.
A considerable number of those ahead of me in the queue spilled out onto the street, screaming and stopping the flow of traffic. Two guys who were ahead of me in the queue kindly allowed me to take their cab, and I made my way home with much relief and more than a little curiosity.
As we moved along Parnell Street and further out the Cork Road, I was genuinely shocked by what I saw, either side of the taxi: guys full of alcohol, running onto the road, apparently oblivious to the traffic.
The following morning, while having breakfast, my flat mate explained this strange ‘Festive’ tradition.
What began as a bit of traditional student fun appears to have gotten quite out of hand, and causing great distress to people living within areas heavily populated by students.
It now appears to be nothing more than an excuse to get very drunk, which, I must confess, I’ve never witnessed on a similar level among students in my native Italy.
Students will always have fun. I should know! But running around the streets of Waterford with too much drink taken and not enough clothes on while is not my definition of fun.
Giuila Vittoria Francomacaro is on work placement with The Munster Express

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