July 1, 2015

Graduation Day!

*Disclaimer: All the pictures used in this post (except for the ones with date and time marks on them + the ones Maiken took) belong to local historian and photographer, Peter Langwithz Smith, and I greatly appreciate him letting me use them for this post. Thank you!

Each year, all students graduate on different days depending on the subject of their last exam, what class they're in, and what teacher they have so in order for everyone to be able to celebrate together, we had an "official graduation ceremony" for all of the seniors Friday last week. This was, of course, also heavy on traditions.
In the morning we went to the school with our parents. Our parents were to find a seat in the main hall while we split up into our respective classes and lined up in one of the nearby hallways. Each class was introduced by the principal before entering the room to the ovation of or parents - my class was first since we're the A class.
Then we all sang an old song that none of us really knew, the principal held a speech, the music students performed their exam piece, an old student who had graduated 50 years ago from our school held a speech, the two students with the highest averages from our school were each awarded grants, and then the 'top student of the year' held a speech as well. Other than the typical stuff like 'it's our future, it's our choice!', 'choose wisely', 'now real life begins' and all those cliche quotes, he also talked about how his mother had lost a two year long battle to cancer only two hours before he'd been informed that he was the student of the year. She'd wished that he'd continue in school.. and wow did he. Then the music students performed again and we all sang one last song before splitting into different classrooms where we were handed our diplomas.

The fun part began at 11.00!
Our parents left and we gathered outside to form one long parade and walk towards the city center together to dance around the statue, Hesten, which is also a tradition. Last year the graduates were lead by a marching band but this year it was a group of motor cyclists and a small bunch of dudes, with funny hats, playing horn music. Oh yes, we made quite an entrance.

While we'd been walking, our parents/grandparents/siblings/dogs/you-name-it had made their way to the statue before us to watch the whole thing. Can you believe it's only been a year since my grandma and I went to watch my friends dance?

My friends and I were pretty far up front in the parade so we were some of the first  30-40 people to arrive and were there to witness the first student climb the statue, which is also a thing/tradition.

...and this was the moment it happened.

The guy not only climbed on top of the statue (you'll see in the following pictures how high up that is) but actually crawling on top of the horseman! And what did he do now that he'd acquired everyone's attention? He took a selfie - much to the amusement of the onlookers.
Very majestic. Look at the sparkly fairy wings on his back.
Soon the square was FILLED with students! It was an ocean of white hats.
 Now according to traditions we had to dance around the statue but there were SO many people that it was nearly impossible. Some of us tried and we did succeed in running around it a few times but ended up spending most of the time singing taunting songs (a tradition among students since our hats have different colours depending on which school we attend).

The red students were clearly a majority and the blue students' singing could not compare to ours~

Taunting songs aside the whole thing was one big party and everyone seemed to have so much fun. It's a day that many look forward to.
I'd come to join my classmates surrounding the statue when suddenly I heard Maiken go "Smiiiile!". Thank you for sending me these, Maiken!
From left to right: Cecilie and Louise, a random girl, Mia, Katrine, Anne, me, and Rikke~
The photographer was really fond of Monika during our first year at school so we were lucky to catch him and have him take these pictures now that we were too busy to do it ourselves.
Anne, me, and Monika

In the afternoon we split up to get some food before Anne, Mette, Nanna, and I went to Monika's place to get in the right mood before going to the party at school in the evening.
The school had prepared a small buffet with different Asian dishes for dinner and ice cream with mixed fruits for dessert. After having eaten, the party was not entertaining at all and I think that night was the earliest we had ever left a school party. That was a bit sad considering it was the last party to be held for us.. but oh well.
I spent the following weekend bracing myself for the week to come - I'll tell you why in my next post!

More pictures in the photographer's album, from local newspaper JydskeVestkysten, and an article (in Danish and with pictures) on our school's website.

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