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Chez Larsson

The Graduation

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So Wille graduated last Wednesday! Tradition over here is that family members gather outside the school to greet the graduate with a sign with a photo of the graduate as a baby, toddler or child. I dug out this black and white photo and had it printed.


IMG_4433 pil

At Wille’s school, which is quite a large one, 15 classes graduated at the same time which resulted in quite a crowd outside with at least fifteen hundred people. There isn’t an auditorium large enough to fit all the families so the ceremony took place while we were all eagerly waiting outside for them to run out of the school gates. The running, “utspringet”, was class by class and there were signs in the school yard where each class then had it’s area so we could find each other afterwards. I tried hard to snap a shot of Wille running out of the building but this was what I was able to get. No idea if that’s Wille by the orange arrow or someone else. It was a bit like the running of the bulls in Pamplona actually!



But there he was finally! Also tradition is that the families and friends hang things around the graduate’s neck. Wille was weighed down by several bouquets of flowers, noise makers, other knick knacks and champagne bottles.



Here we are minus me holding the camera and uncle Peter who came to our house a little later. Proud family. Even more so when we found out that Wille had received a 6000:- merit based grant for his good grades. My boy!



Another tradition here in Sweden has been to pick the graduate up in a fancy car or other dressed up vehicle which takes them to the reception where families and friends wait. That was the case when I graduated back in the stone ages (1983 to be more specific) anyway. Nowadays the class gets together and rents a big truck together instead and has the driver drive them all around town while they’re partying at the back…



Like so :). That’s where the noise makers come in. And yes, Wille’s somewhere in there drenched in beer.



And off they went! Hooray!


  • amanda says:

    Those are some pretty cool traditions. My friend recently moved to Sweden and she posted a picture to instagram showing a couple of blue and yellow balloons. She mentioned that it meant that someone in the house had recently graduated. I asked her how she knew and she just vaguely mentioned the balloons again, but now it’s all making sense! Congratulations!

  • Zoe says:

    Why the hats? My friends daughter graduated from a school in Uppsala and she had the same hat.

  • Zoe – It’s an old tradition. Uppsala is actually where it originated and then it spread over the whole country from there according to Wikipedia

  • Sandy (USA) says:

    Good morning! This is so interesing. The family doesn’t get to see the individual receiving their diploma or any of the awards.? Here the boy and girl graduate in cap and gown with a tassel hanging from the cap that gets switched from right to left once they get their diploma and awards. The cap and gown are the color of the school. They can wear whatever they want under since it gots hot. Depending on the school and weather, graduation ceremony is held outside in the football field so family and friends may watch. Too hot or rain, it’s held inside and only four family members can attend due to limited space. Celebration afterwards by the students is driving around through town with their cars written on all over with Class of 2013. Many parties over different houses. Do they have Senior Prom like here or no?

  • Lovely photos, they look as though they’re having a great time! And what an adorable poster of Wille as a little boy. No wonder you both (and I guess the whole family) are so proud. Getting a money prize as a grant means so much effort and discipline!

  • Sandy – There wasn’t a senior prom. There was a dinner for the family with a party (without family) after :).

  • Maja says:

    Love the white hats! In Norway they have different colours: red, blue…love these scandinavian traditions! Congrats to Wille!

  • Jill says:

    I’m so happy for Wille and you. The celebration looks like it was great fun. Thank you for sharing:)

  • Sandy (USA) says:

    Benita – not post related: if you don’t mind me asking, the basket I have seen several times on your kitchen counter, is that the citrus basket from Alessi? If so, is it a generous size and do you like it? I have been stalking that basket for quite a while now. Thank you

  • Tara says:

    Congradulations Willie!
    I was in Denmark about this time last year and there were lots of these trucks and graduate celebrating. Such a fun time!

  • Polly says:

    This looks lovely and I love how you have so many fun traditions! It’s sad but here in England I can’t imagine the kids being allowed to dance in the back of a truck due to ‘health and safety’. It’s nice that you can do things like that!

  • April says:

    In the last picture, the poster with lots of names on it had “Wille” three times in a row. Are they all your son, or is that a common name and he has two classmates with the same moniker?

  • blackforestgirl says:

    Nice and funny. Here in Germany the high school completion is also a great thing .. but whether it also so funny to go ..?
    LG Ela

  • devil says:

    What a fantastic celebration. Looks like you had such lovely weather for it, too.
    Congratulations again to Wille. On to bigger and better things!

  • Andi says:

    Congratulations to Willie!Tekniskt Linje is quite an accomplishment!
    Interesting to read the names on the back of the truck.Have the traditional Swedish names like Eva,Lena and Eva-Lena become less common?
    And wow looks like it was gorgeous Swedish summer weather-which when it is good,is really,really good.:)

  • Katrine says:

    Wow, grattis again to Wille and thanks for sharing the way you do graduation in Sweden, Benita!
    I had seen these hats (in Denmark, that is), but I really like the “utspringet”-thing!
    Also thanks for telling me where to find the candleholder the other day, unfortunately IKEA doesn´t stock them anymore (over here). So I had to go with two simple glass candle holders (leaving without any clearly was no option ;-))and will wait for the revival of the simple white one.
    Have a nice day!

  • mribaro says:

    What does the inscription on the side of the truck say, and mean translated in English?

  • Sandy – It is by Alessi and it’s great for fruit or other stuff like onions. It IS a generous size. Martin and I got it as a wedding present back in 1990 ad Martin let me have it :).

  • April – When Wille (Willam) was born his name was VERY uncommon back in 1994. Now it’s on the list of most common names for newborns… So imagine our surprise when there were actually three 1994 Williams in Wille’s class! Us parents must have been trend setters back then :).
    Andi – Those names are much less common nowadays, now there’s a lot of foreign influence. The Swedish names are probably making a comeback soon though as I’m noticing them more on babies again.

  • Mribaro – It says “We always had size, now we also have the technical skills” :).

  • Whoop, whoop! for Willie. Love it!

  • ~Michelle says:

    Wow this is so interesting! It is totally different from the 3 graduation ceremonies I’ve been in here in the US. And it looks like so much fun too!

  • David W. says:

    Wow! I love this tradition. Thank you for sharing.

  • Lisa says:

    Congratulations to Wille!! Thank you for sharing the festivities and traditions with us!! Lovely!!

  • Heather P. says:

    I love this! I think my graduation would have been a lot more fun with a few more traditions that don’t involve hours of sitting and listening to people talk about our futures like we’re being led to the slaughter (our high school had some strange ideas of what makes a good graduation speech).
    Oh, and beer would have made it a LOT more fun, but alas, we can’t drink at that age here!
    Congrats to Wille and I hope you all had a great time celebrating!

  • nalani says:

    Congratulations! These traditions seem so fun and practical compared to graduations in my area.

  • Jiru says:

    Well done, Wille!! Wow – champagne, too! I think that would have made my graduation celebration a bit more festive, but sadly, I was still 3 full years away from drinking age.
    Lots of luck and good wishes to you. Enjoy your summer!

  • This is such a cool tradition!!! I lived in Sweden for 6 months and love seeing more of the culture. There is no celebration after highschool here (in New Zealand) – nothing at all, not even graduation ceremony because that’s only after university. This looks like so much fun for the students and something to really make them feel proud of their achievement.

  • JB says:

    Congrats Willie. Thanks for sharing. Its so nice to know about how people celebrate the world over.
    has anyone mentioned this before- willie looks like Matt Damon.

  • Robyne Jane says:

    Congrats to Willie. That looks like so much fun, its nice that the kids are encouraged to muck up and celebrate. My goodness, yes, he does look like Matt Damon 🙂

  • JB – Yes, I’ve heard that before :).

  • jend'isère says:

    Incredible tradition! My Swedish girl looks with jealousy as high school is one less year in France and just ends with a gruelling Bacclaureate week. No “Pomp and Circumstance” around here! Have fun!

  • jja says:

    “Tradition over here is that family members gather outside the school to greet the graduate with a sign with a photo of the graduate as a baby, toddler or child”
    What a nice tradition. I remeber those loud trucks when I was in Stockholm, but didn’t know what is actually going on…
    “Also tradition is that the families and friends hang things around the graduate’s neck. Wille was weighed down by several bouquets of flowers, noise makers, other knick knacks and champagne bottles. ”
    This one is cool too! And coongrats for great grades!

  • Stephanie - Seattle USA says:

    Heartfelt best wishes to Wille (and you) achieving this major life accomplishment!
    Thanks for sharing a Swedish graduation!

  • Marie Holmes says:

    Congratulations Mama! You must be so proud. Thank you for sharing your traditions. Congratulations to Wille too!

  • Congrats Willie!
    Thanks for sharing your traditions; I had no idea graduations were done so differently there, despite living in Scandinavia for awhile (never around graduation time I guess). So interesting to see the differences in the way we all do celebrations, I hope you’ll share more as the mood strikes!

  • Corina says:

    Thank you for sharing this moment with everyone, Wille has lots of proud virtual mothers today!