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Boston Blatte

Raised in Boston, remade in Sweden

Keeping tradtions: Taking the student

We were invited to our neighbors’ house for a party. Their daughter “took the student”. That’s a literal translation of the Swedish way to express the formal event of graduating from high school (I’ve never quite figured out the closest equivalent in the UK, so sorry, can’t offer a British term).

While American highschoolers march solemnly in caps and gowns to receive their diploma, shake someone’s hand and gloat jubilantly that they made it; Swedes just “run out” utspring Well, so I’ve heard. I’ve been invited to two (including today’s for the neighbor daughter) but haven’t witnessed on myself yet.

Contrary to the gown idea, there’s no formal wear for graduates. Their outfits are made up of something nice to wear and though certainly their student caps. I like those caps but I can’t help but expect to hear the Popeye the Sailor man theme. Regardless, they seem a whole lot slicker than the funny cardboard platform we wear
graduation cap

Had I been among the masses of family and friends watching the “out run” I would have seen the numerous plaques with giant photos of the graduate as a baby. The cuter the better apparently. Though it kind of looks more like a happy protest sign.

The best thing going for the Swedish students, at least around Stockholm is the parade ride through the city center.
They get to choral into large containers on the back of heavy trucks and jump and sing and spray near-non-alcoholic beer on people (and themselves) while these trucks create traffic backup to the displeasure and dismay of those who work and move around central Stockholm this time of year. Swedes are very safety conscious most of the time. That need for safety does a big scadaddle with these float/parades.

I know they’re a nuisance in downtown Stockholm but I am charmed by the suspension of the strict adherence to all rules (as is rather Swedish) to let newly graduated teens shake their groove thing.

It does go to show that Swedes are indeed known to bend a rule now and again. Good for them.

And congratulations Ida.

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8 responses to “Keeping tradtions: Taking the student”

  1. David says:

    I believe they call it ‘finishing’ in British English, but I’m not 100% sure.

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  2. Thanks for sharing. I learnt a lot from your site.

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  3. Monica says:

    I like the sound of the Swedish graduation ceremony better than what we do here in the States. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  4. Dave Poppyseed says:

    Like heard it all before. Thousands of times and better. Yaaawn.

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  5. puffin says:

    There is a sort of dress code – but it seems very flexible – the tradition is
    – girls wear white dresses
    – boys have suits
    You have to have your graduation cap even if they got make you look like the cruise direct from the Love Boat 😉

    On the final day the student go into school and collect their grades and they run out symbolising the end

    Here in the sticks people do not use trucks but tractors with hay wagons attached :)

    I like the tradition – in the UK there is little atmosphere as you do not get your high school/A-level results before you leave as the externally amrked exams are not ready until around a month after you leave school

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  6. Dean says:

    When I left school in the Uk we called it exactly that “Leaving School”. But these days they graduate the same way as in America and have proms.

    I loved the Popeye quote!

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  7. With the rapid decline of graduation rates across the globe it’s a wonder how we still have a tradition on receiving a diploma. With the ease of online diplomas…more and more we will be seeing different traditions coming to the forefront.

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