A friend of mine has recently graduated from high school and I was happy to be invited to the graduation event. It turned out to be a very interesting experience and I was surprised how many traditions high school graduation in Sweden involves. When we came to the school, all the friends and relative were standing in front of the entrance holding signs with the names and chilhood pictures of the graduates. I’ve been told that the pictures are usually the embarrassing and funny ones.
At noon the graduates started running out of the school. They were dressed up and each of them was wearing the student cap, which is a special cap with the student’s name written on it. When the graduates found their friends and relatives holding their sign with the name and the picture, everyone started congratulating them and giving presents. There is a tradition to attach a band to all the presents to hang them on the student’s neck. The presents usually include flowers, small toys with a student cap on them, whistles, and bottles with alcohol. All those gifts end up being quite heavy eventually. After that most of the presents are left with the relatives, except for the whistles and alcohol bottles. Those ones are taken by the students to the truck.
The truck sounds weird, but there is a tradition in Sweden to ride a truck after graduation. In some schools the students are picked up by their parents driving fancy cars, but at this school the students were going around the town in trucks. There was a truck for each class, and the students decorated them with branches and all kinds of signs. There was loud music on the trucks, and the students were whistling and drinking their alcohol gifts.
After the truck rides there are usually parties with friends and relatives at home. My friend also invited us for her party, and it was a lot of fun!
Some pictures of the graduation are below: