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Friday, June 4, 2010

High School Graduation

Here in Sweden, when someone graduates from High School they call it Taking your Student: Ta Student! High School graduation is a big right of passage here in Sweden and there are some great traditions associated with it. First, the graduation hats look like captain's hats! The students wear these with pride around town as a symbol that they have completed their studies. Second, when the final day arrives, the Seniors all gather in the school and then at the allocated moment run out of the front door together! This is the Utspring (run out). Parents and family members and other close friends gather with signs that have a baby photograph of the graduate prominently displayed! Then, most importantly of all, the students get to ride around in an open top truck, blasting loud music, blowing whistles and cheering while a driver chauffeurs them all around town so that they can express their glee in graduating for all the town to hear! From the last week of May through the second week of June, we are constantly barraged by trucks, loud music with a blasting baseline and delighted, screaming students driving all around our neighborhood and throughout the city!
The students are so happy and it's fun to celebrate such a great accomplishment. This year, we went to one the student's utspring. It was fun to gather with his parents and sisters, and to be among the first to congratulate him and join in the festive atmosphere!We have been invited to several receptions for the students. Last week we attended a beautiful dinner for one of Eritrean students.
Notice the cake on the left is in the shape of the graduation hat!The food was awesome, the crowd warm and welcoming, and the graduate thrilled and happy. It was a pleasure to join the celebration. In the week ahead, we will attend a couple of more receptions and take joy in celebrating this great accomplishment of all our high school graduates.