Swedish Graduation

By Elin Karlsson | gargoyle@flagler.edu

These are four Swedish high school students on their graduation day. Graduating high school in Sweden is a little bit different compared to graduation in America. The celebrations starts two weeks prior to the actual graduation date with a trip to another country, usually Greece, Turkey or Cyprus.

This is from Samos, it is a little island that belongs to Greece. The vacation usually lasts a week and it is considered a good way to say goodbye to friends. Students are not required to do anything on this trip, except spending time together.

Once back in Sweden again it is time for prom. Prom usually takes place two days before graduation. The prom before graduation is the only prom students in Sweden have and it is mandatory to go to.

On the day of graduation all students have to wear white hats, with their name, year and school on it. Girls are required to wear white dresses and boys have to wear a suit and tie.

In the morning, usually around breakfast time all students’ gets together for a champagne breakfast. The champagne breakfast is a breakfast organized by the school. It is called champagne breakfast because the only drink that is served is champagne to celebrate that school is over.

Students are playing games to get the time to go by before it is time to be in church. After breakfast and games it is time to meet up with family and friends in the church where a grade ceremony is being held. The students receive their grades from teachers and their time in high school is officially over.

After everyone has gotten his or her grades, it is time to “run out.” Students get together and on a signal everyone runs out to the front yard where family and friends are gathered.

Once outside, students receive gifts to put around their necks. It can be everything from alcohol beverages, toys and other things that people can think about. It is not something serious, but it is more a competition to see who gets most things.

After students have gotten their gifts, they all sing a special song and carries around a baby picture of themselves. It is the parent’s responsibility to make the sign with the picture. The sign is a symbol that the student is now considered an adult.

The official graduation ceremony is now over and the only thing left is to sing and celebrate. Students typically rent a truck or something to attach behind a car where a group of students can ride together. While the car is driving down the street, the students can sing and wave to people standing on the sides watching. This can go on for hours, or as long as the students’ whishes. And this is the last part of the Swedish High School graduation ceremony.

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