I’m still new to Swedish traditions, but it is fun to take part of them and yesterday I had the chance of taking part of the traditional celebration when Rasmus, my husband’s second cousin I believe, graduated secondary school. When you finish your secondary education/ secondary school in Sweden (age: 18- 19 years) there’s a big celebration called ‘studenten’. ‘Studenten’ means that the person has graduated and can now apply for further studies such as university studies, as the word itself comes from ‘student exam’, the final exam. It’s hard to explain what ‘studenten’ is, but it is a traditional celebration on the last day of school when you have officially finished secondary school (I believed it’s called preparatory high school in the US?). All the students get to dress up, the guys usually in a suit and tie and the girls most often in white dresses.
A special ‘student-hat’ is worn, a ‘studentmössa’. The students run out of school (symbolizing that they are released from school, almost like from a prison haha) where friends and family awaits them holding banners with a picture of the student when he/she was young and cheering them on. Flowers and bouquets are hung around their neck and it is also common that the student is drinking quit heavy from early morning to late night (legal age for drinking alcohol in Sweden is 18 years). Afterwards the students drive around in the back of decorated trucks, playing loud music, drinking and screaming ‘we have graduated’.
While Rasmus was riding on the back of the decorated tryck (yes, it does sound funny!) the rest of the family and friends met up at his moms place for something to eat and a bit of a chat. Rasmus joined us later, still fairly sober- I am impressed! (Usually the students get totally wasted).