Friday, 6 June 2008

Swedish High School Graduation

is a little different to what I experienced.............
Robert started his day with photos at 7.30am, followed by a champage breakfast at a friend's, lunch, speaches and the handing out of grades. At 3pm they all came out of school, one group at a time and found their families who were eagerly gathered around waiting. They reassembled and all walked in to town as a group with the families flanking them on either side. Once they got in to town they jumped on the back of trucks and trailers pulled by tractors and did laps of the town. With music blasting and the alcohol flowing these singing, shouting, waving teenagers smiled at their families and friends standing on the sidewalk around the town.

After dragging two kids to a meeting in a cafe this morning, we bought some flowers and a leopard to hang around Robert's neck and jumped on the train headed for Strängnäs. Trouble is that a goods train decided to collide with something somewhere and that closed down the system for about 40 minutes. We sat just outside of Strängnäs for 40 minutes, waiting and waiting - impatiently I might add. Consequently, we missed him coming out of school and we missed the procession down to the centre of town. But we did get to see him in the parade - kind of like drunk kids all standing on floats waiving - just not as fancy.

It was a dream for Kieran, watching all the trucks and tractors. And as for Makaila, well she's up for a party kind of atmosphere ANYTIME! She loves the people, the activity, the music - she just loves a party!

We watched them do several laps of the town, waited for Robert and his girlfriend and took them home for more partying.

This is not just a big day for the student, but also for the family. Guests are invited and food and refreshments are laid out in honor of the graduating teen. Flowers, stuffed toys and presents are given and this day is much more of a celebration than when they turn 18 or 21! Gratuating students have an honorary position in the family, at least for a few days!

Helena and Patrik had prepared an Italian style buffet and her parents, his brother and family, his aunt and her husband, a friend and the girlfriends were all there to help celebrate. It was quite a feast and quite a gathering of people who don't see each other except on very special occasions.
And as Robert opened his presents the message became loud and clear: saucepans, a garlic press, a picnic basket, an Ikea gift voucher, a cook book..............
But as he plans on studying aeronautical engineering I don't think he will be going anywhere too soon......

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