Over the next few weeks millions of American students will be graduating from high school, college, or grad school programs. These exhausted, but excited graduates will participate in a long list of traditional graduation customs such as wearing their traditional gown, marching to the traditional ceremonial song, and switching the tassel on their caps. But other countries around the world have their own traditions. Listed below are just four short examples.
- Hakamas and elaborate graduation costumes. In the U.S., people tend to wear their “Sunday best” to graduations and the same can be said for Japanese graduations. Most Japanese students wear their mortarboards and gowns, kimonos, or special hakamas for graduations. However, there is at least one school in Japan that embraces the unusual. At Kanazawa College of Art, students are allowed to wear unique costumes of their choice. For instance, in March 2017, a student dressed as a Hindu goddess when accepting her diploma. Check out the video below for a closer look.
- Wedding gowns vs. caps and gowns. For graduation pictures, students usually pose in the traditional caps and gowns. However, in other countries, female students have embraced a new trend. Apparently, in some parts of China, female college students pose for their graduation photos in weddings gowns as a way to “commemorate campus love [and] youthful days.”
- Weeks-long celebrations. In the U.S., we typical celebrate a graduation with a party after the ceremony. However, in Norway, things are a bit different. For weeks, Norwegian high school students celebrate “russefeiring.” For the celebrations, the students wear color-coordinated overalls depending on their future career goals (such as red for general studies, blue for business studies, and green for agricultural studies). For weeks the students celebrate their future by drinking and partying.
- Graduation food fights. Typically speaking, only mortarboards get thrown in the air at American graduations. In Argentina, there is a different tradition. It’s not uncommon for students to get hit with food by loved ones as a fun way to commemorate their graduation. The food could be anything from ketchup to eggs. To learn more about this fun custom, read this American’s Argentine graduation experience.