I want to take a little space to write about something particular for Denmark. I realize after living abroad for some time now, that Denmark might be one of the countries in the western world with the most traditions.
I feel like I always hear myself say: "In Denmark we have this tradition."
And this time of year is no exception. Late June is when the third year high schoolers finish their highschool degree, and it is time for celebrating the end of three years of study.
We see the freshly graduated students everywhere, as each has a cap they wear; it can be different shades of red, blue or purple depending on which kind of school they went to. They wear them for as long as they like; actually earlier the student didn't take them of until they had finished university. This way it was always easy to see who was a student. But today we only see people wearing the hats for a couple of weeks after graduation. There are many rituals bound to this hat: Inside you get a notch for each sunrise you have seen wearing this and all your fellow student write you a little greeting on the inside. The last grade has to be written in the center of the hat and the one with the highest and the lowest grade has to buy a crate of beer for the classmates. Should you be so unfortunate to throw up from too much drinking you get a notch in the front shade so everyone can see it.
Then there is the ride; the day of getting the diploma there is a day long celebration where they drive around from house to house to celebrate with each persons family. Drinking a lot, eating a lot and making a rolling party around cities in a truck decorated with flowers, balloons, danish flags and sometimes obscene signs.
This might seem very odd, and maybe it is, but at the same time it is so nice that everyone is congratulation strangers in the streets just for wearing a hat, and that we each year get reminded of our own time with student celebrations.