After spending our first day exploring Gothenburg, Sweden, we went back to the city center the next day. Upon arrival, we stepped out of our tram onto a large square filled to the brim with people. The same square that had been empty the day before.
At first we though that it must be some kind of demonstration against who knows what. Many people were carrying signs and were holding blue and yellow ribbons. It did seem like a friendly occasion so we weren’t sure what to think.
Curious as we were, we went to take a closer look. Turns out that it was something totally different.
It was a graduation ceremony!
We are used to official ceremonies indoors for these kinds of things back in Holland. Here in Sweden, it was a whole different concept.
After we’d walked around a few minutes, we heard someone holding a short speech. It was in the Swedish language of course, so we couldn’t understand a thing. Suddenly, loud music started banging from speakers. A few seconds later, the first group of graduates came running up from a street. They danced in the middle of the square on a stage whilst their friends and family cheered their names and waved their signs.
And the signs they were holding turned out to be something completely different than protesting texts. They displayed toddler pictures of the graduates, and had a sentence that we would translate to ‘Congratulations on becoming a student’! Looking at their ages, they all seemed to have just graduated from high school.
Just as the first group of students went to find their relatives, another upbeat song started playing and the next group of graduates came running onto the square to dance and celebrate.
Later that same day, when we were walking through the city, we came across the graduates again. This time though, they were standing on the back of a large truck! They danced and sung along to loud music whilst driving through the city.
What a great way to celebrate your graduation!