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Sweden: Alice Graduation in Malmo

Sweden: Alice Graduation in Malmo

ūüôā FUN! FUN! FUN! This is why we LOVE Sweden!

In Sweden, high school graduation is a party from beginning to end!  

In addition to their finery, every Swedish graduate wears a white hat called a¬†studentm√∂ssa.¬†Typically, the¬†studentm√∂ssa¬†is a white cap with a black or dark blue band, and a black peak.¬†It looks like a sailor’s cap to me. I asked many a Swede why the sailor cap. No one was quite sure.¬†¬†Inside the cap is a lining which varies according to school colors or it may resemble the Swedish flag. Many graduates use the inside of the cap like American students use a yearbook – it is a place for classmates to sign their names and leave farewell messages to one another.

The history of the studentmössa depends on what source you cite and the sources and variations on its origins are many. Most agree, however, that in Sweden, the studentmössa was first worn in the mid 1800’s at Uppsala University at a student meeting.

The morning of graduation, each graduate receives a leaving certificate. ¬†What follows, however, is a joyous running out of school ‚Äď ‚Äúutspring‚ÄĚ – with your leaving certificate in hand through a crowd of parents holding placards with the graduates‚Äô baby photos. Some of the parents go for a darling baby photo. Others use an embarrassing photo, but every graduate has one. Each placard has the name of the graduate and with the year and date of the graduation. Most of the placards are decorated with a blue and yellow background representing the national colours of Sweden. Rumor has it that the King and Queen of Sweden participated in¬†utspring¬†for the prince and princesses. That is how important the¬†utspring¬†is.

The graduates run through the crowd and onto a stage where dance music is pumping. The graduates then dance, sing, blow horns, shake noise makers, jump, set off flares and generally have fun. From the evidence on the grounds around the school it seems that a good number of the graduates have fuelled their dancing booties with Red Bull and alcohol. After each group has gone through the run/dance/party on stage portion, they go into the crowd searching for their baby photos and hence, their families.  Well wisher don them with necklaces of blue and gold (again, the national colours of Sweden) from which are hanging flowers, teddy bears, champagne bottles and other things that may represent the student’s personality and interests.

From there the graduates move to rented flat bed trucks or fancy cars and continue the dance party. The trucks are decorated and are essentially a mobile dance club which drives through town honking their horns and playing music with graduates hanging off the trucks, singing and dancing. You can literally hear them from miles away. And you hear it all day, every day, for about a week as different school have different graduation dates. This mobile party seems completely dangerous to me, but what do I know? It happens all over Sweden every year.

After the truck ride and run through town, the graduates return home to friends and family waiting to celebrate the student with more festivities well into the night…. the crowd moves from family home to family home to enjoy the parties laid on by all the patents – Fun! Fun! Fun!

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