On 30 January the popular Tuks Rag procession will again be making its way through the streets of Pretoria. For many students, Rag represents the first encounter with student life. It has been this way for generations.
In the 1930s, when Tukkies students still thought about a rag as a piece of old cloth, a Pretoria hospital was struggling financially. One day, some Kollege residents decided to march into the streets of the capital city to beg for money on behalf of the hospital. So the day, and the hospital, was saved. What the Kollege men didn’t see coming was a remarkable tradition that would continue to follow this simple act of generosity. The tradition would later become known as Tuks Rag Week.
Rag (Reach Out and Give) is a charity organisation that aims to give students the opportunity to be part of something bigger than themselves while still partying like only students can. Money is raised throughout the year, especially during Rag Week (25-30 January), through various events such as the music show at Rag Farm, the procession itself and the after party in Hatfield Square.
An awesome but muddy festival is held at Rag Farm the Friday night before the parade. High-calibre bands such as Fokofpolisiekar, the Parlotones and Crash Car Burn have wowed audiences at previous festivals. There is also a DJ stage and a comedy show to entertain the crowd.
The procession is the next day. If you happen to be a res student, you will have the parade to thank for your first week of varsity being a blur between blommetjies vou, zef troue and countless Red Bulls. Each men’s res has a women’s res as a Rag Week partner. These residences spend hours throughout the week building colourful floats which will be paraded through the streets of Pretoria in order to raise money for charity. After the procession, it’s off to Hatfield Square for the after party.
However, getting to this stage of Rag Week with all your limbs attached could prove to be quite tricky. Keep in mind that Rag is not just one big party, but that this fun also includes sleep deprivation, 10km of parading in the sun and more alcohol than your little liver can handle. Therefore, take caution. To help you reach the finish line of Rag Week relatively unharmed, Perdeby brings you some advice to help you survive what could be your best week at varsity ever:
Remember sunscreen (SPF 50 preferably)
Drink plenty of water (dehydration is not your friend)
Don’t be afraid to act like a child
Don’t drive drunk – lots of po-po (police)
Invest in comfy shoes
Don’t take candy from strangers, only money!