Ylioppilas time!


Today is a pretty special day for the graduating classes of high school. In what is apparently a tradition, the kids dress up in costume, get loaded up into the back of dump trucks, and are driven around the city, tossing candies to the crowds that are congratulating them on their upcoming graduation.

20150212_113414    20150212_115314

However, their graduation is not guaranteed. This parade happens before they take their final exams, which they take after the winter holiday (which is this upcoming week).


It seems these kids know there are risks involved!

It was pretty fun to hear the kids laughing and whooping it up. It’s a neat tradition, and reminded me so much of the Mardi Gras parades (that I’m missing, wah!).


This whole thing is really an amazing bit of Finnish culture. The studies and the exam appear to be quite exhaustive and difficult, and it’s really great to see the kids celebrated for their academic achievements.  There is a quite long history about this that you can read here, if you are interested.

9 thoughts on “Ylioppilas time!

  1. Cecilia and Mark are having a romantic get-away in Raleigh, and I have the boys. Asked them what they wanted for supper, and they yelled Star Bread, so that’s what I’m fixing! (Stopped by Taco Bell to get them a burrito on the way to swimming, though, wouldn’t want them to starve to death.)
    BTW, Finnish is supposed to be a “shallow” language. Once you learn it, you will never mispronounce it because letters only have one pronunciation. English, on the other hand, is a “deep” language, because any letter has multiple pronunciations. Take “tough” and “through”…the “gh” is pronounced entirely different in each word. Amazing what I learn listening to Public Radio, isn’t it?


  2. Today, then, is vanhojenpäivä, when the high school second graders dress up in old-style clothes and celebrate having become the oldest. The also hold a ball. Often two of them, actually: one for the rest of the school and the other for the parents.
    Yesterday the leaving students gave out candy in schools, etc. Today the new “old ones” “terrorize” their schools somewhat.


    • “The also hold a ball. Often two of them, actually: one for the rest of the school and the other for the parents.”

      We had three. One for the rest of the school, one for the general public and one for the parents. After that day I was sore in places I didn’t know I had.


  3. I think the traditions are really cool! I read a whole paper on them, and the system seems to really applaud those students who make it through. I like that society as a whole seem to support the efforts to have an educated populace.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s