It’s high school graduation time in Borlänge. Seems to be a bigger deal here than the States, or maybe I’m just out of touch. My own was a simple ceremony in the gymnasium, parents in attendance . . . a boring speech by the principal as we stood impatiently in gowns and mortar boards on our heads. But that was many years ago.
It seems a wildly enthusiastic occasion in Sweden. Parents and relatives do not go inside to witness whatever happens there. They wait on the campus lawn, many holding posters with photos showing those graduates as babies or early childhood.
When the ceremony’s over graduates come running out in yachting hats and are adorned with all kinds of silly gifts stuffed animals and such. They wear the hats for a week after and ride in groups aboard flat bed trucks, shouting and having a great time of it. Others cruise through town in cars honking and yelling. One carload passed me downtown yesterday, behatted kids leaning out the window shouting, “Freedom!”
Ah, but could we elders gain that blessed naivety again.