This year’s Wigilia, a traditional Christmas Eve dinner in the Polish tradition, was organized by the Polish Student Society at Columbia and Barnard on December 8, 2012 in the beautiful setting of Sulzberger Parlor. The event was attended by about 60 Columbia and Barnard students and a few young alumni returning to meet their friends at the alma mater over a meal of coming together, as symbolized by an extra plate traditionally set for the “unexpected guest.”
The event was opened by Aneta Turlik, who presented to American and international students a detailed multimedia overview of traditional Wigilia dishes and customs. The guests enjoyed Christmas dishes from various regions of Poland, such as borscht served with mushroom croquettes, and fish with vegetables (ryba po grecku) from Western Poland. Eastern Poland was represented with kutia (a sweet meal of wheat pearls or noodles with poppy seeds and nuts) and a dish of sauerkraut with beans. The hits of the evening where holiday style pierogis made with sauerkraut and mushrooms as well as a fruit compote. The meal was accompanied by a live feed from the cameras at Town Square in Krakow, where holiday decorations and winter ambiance added charm to the Renaissance and Gothic architecture of the former capital of Poland.