Sali täynnä teekkareita.
Tamppi reveal in 2023. The publication of vappu magazine Tamppi is a spectacle that takes place every spring and there is simply not enough room for everyone who wants to attend.

Teekkari humour is alive and well

News article

The May Day aka vappu magazines published by teekkaris are greatly anticipated, loved, hated and frowned upon. This is how Tamppi is born.

Donned in student overalls and teekkari caps, the students selling the vappu magazine and the humorous magazines themselves have for decades been the main contact that outsiders have with the tassel folk. Vappu magazines are published around the May Day (vappu) festivities. 

A contemporary review of the very first teekkari songbook in 1929 states that “the lewd spirit of the songs will arouse disgust and horror in serious-minded individuals.”

“This is still a pretty good description of teekkari humour today. Laughing at taking things too seriously,” say Riku Mykkänen and Serafiina Kapanen, culture editors of Tamppi.

Tamppi is part of the living teekkari culture, and its creators determine what it looks like every year.

Over the years, vappu magazines have been criticised as too raunchy and vulgar. Last year, Aamulehti described Tamppi as too nice and hankered for the anarchy of past decades. According to Aamulehti, last year’s issue of Tamppi did not contain any real obscenity or actual vulgarity.

“At least we managed to upset one person,” says Mykkänen with a laugh, referring to the Aamulehti review. If the jokes written by first-year students today are not as dirty as they were back in the 1980s, the magazine will naturally be different. 

“Tamppi is part of the living teekkari culture, and its creators determine what it looks like every year,” says Kapanen.

Everyone both longs and dreads to see what jokes the students of future years will come up with, say Kapanen and Mykkänen with a laugh.

Permission to laugh?

Teekkari humour has been used as a guise for both hilarious satire and offensive behaviour. Last vappu, the CEO of Bitwise, a Tampere-based software company, tried to explain his sexist behaviour at a student event by calling it 1990s teekkari humour. Kapanen and Mykkänen make it clear that the current generation has a completely different idea of teekkari humour.

“Teekkari humour cannot be done right. Every previous teekkari generation thinks that things were more fun in their days, but they still encourage us to produce Tamppi in whatever way we see fit,” says Kapanen.

The editorial office of Tamppi in the Blebeijit club room Perätila has hosted many discussions on suitable topics for jokes.

“The easiest choice is to go with self-irony, poking fun at being a teekkari and having an engineering mindset. I try to think that if I were the brunt of the joke, would it be funny,” says Mykkänen.

“You shouldn’t worry too much about what is safe or decide which topics are off limits in our editorial meetings. Our first priority is to decide if the content is funny,” says Kapanen.

Tamppi's repertoire ranges from short, corny jokes to long stories and visual jokes – anything that makes the cultural editor laugh. Short, witty jokes are Kapanen’s favourite. Mykkänen especially enjoys corny jokes that you don't necessarily get the first time round.

“Sometimes when you’re re-reading the jokes again and again during the layout process, you start to doubt whether something is actually funny,” says Mykkänen.

“I have such a bad memory that that's not a problem for me,” says Kapanen with a laugh.

Tongue-in-cheek but properly

Mechanical engineering students Mykkänen and Kapanen are part of Tamppi’s team of ten editors. Their duties include not only producing the magazine, but also organizing events and checkpoints for first-year student tours.

According to the culture editors, it is typical of Tamppi to do things tongue-in-cheek, but properly. Producing Tamppi requires many hours of work, but Kapanen and Mykkänen say that working at Tamppi does not feel like work. They believe that producing the magazine teaches them project skills, for example.

“I want to give my personal contribution to the teekkari culture. We organize many events that are free for students. Participants don't need to worry about having the money to attend,” says Kapanen.

Mykkänen says that the best moment is when the magazine has been published and you see the final outcome and realize that it was worth all the effort. 

Kaksi teekkaria istuu teipattuna yhteen.
Backup forces. Riku Mykkänen and Serafiina Kapanen are part of Tamppi’s team of ten editors. Working at Tamppi does not feel like work, even though producing the magazine requires many hours of work.
Tamppi-lehden kansikuva.

What is Tamppi?

Tamppi is an institution of the teekkari culture in Tampere and also lends its name to the campus sports arena and a lane in Hervanta. In addition to the magazine published by the Blebeijit club, it is also a group that organizes dozens of student events every year. Many of these events are for all students, and some are only for those selling Tamppi. The costs of these events are covered by the proceedings from the sales of the magazine and advertising.

The production of Tamppi begins in the summer with the conceptualization of the issue to be published in the following spring. In the autumn, salespeople are recruited and a joke competition is held to collect material. In the winter, events are organized for those selling Tamppi, advertising space is sold and visuals are produced for the magazine. Tamppi goes on sale when the vappu celebrations begin.