Saturday, October 17, 2009


Who are the guys dressed in fatigues getting on the trains on Saturday mornings?

They are known as tramps and belong to organized groups (often with English names like Red River) who meet at a specified place in the woods (their osada or settlement) to camp, hike, and sing. The phenomenon emerged between the wars as young people looked for an alternative to their modern city lives. The tradition grew under communism as a sort of quasi-protest against the official mass-organized recreation of the communists. It was popular enough in the seventies and eighties that there is now a whole genre of tramp music (often borrowed from American country and folk music). Tramping is less popular today as young people have turned to more consumerist pastimes, but some remain faithful to their clan in middle age.

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