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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Sweden Series at SwedishPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Swedish holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 16, High School Graduation. In Swedish, it’s called studenten.
Completing high school in Sweden is referred to as ta studenten. The way it’s celebrated varies in Sweden, but usually it takes place in late May or in the beginning of June.
In this lesson you’ll learn how graduating from high school is celebrated in Sweden!
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question? -
Do you know how many years the standard secondary education is in Sweden?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
The concept of studenten comes from the time when secondary education in Sweden ended with taking a student examination or studentexamen. Normally the boys wore their graduation cap, or studentmössa, for a month until they joined the military service. After 1968, the student examination was abolished in Sweden, which meant that the student celebrations became much less of an event during the 1970s. However, since the 1980s the student celebrations have increased yet again.
The way the day is celebrated varies throughout Sweden. The most common way is for student events to start in April with mösspåtagning – which is the day students are allowed to start to wear their graduation caps. Students also tend to organize student parties that begin with a fancy dinner. Family and teachers are also invited. After the dinner the real party begins. Often the party has some sort of theme and a masquerade. In some places there’ll be a fancy ball event that takes place instead.
At the graduation day itself, in May or June, the students will be awarded with scholarships, or stipendium, during which the headmaster usually makes a speech, and to conclude the ceremony, the students also perform the graduation song, called För vi har tagit studenten, meaning "Because we have graduated". The whole event is finalized with the so-called outrun, when all the students leave the school premises. The students will jump onto truck beds that are decorated with birch branches, balloons, and sheets with writing and the name of their class. From the truck you will hear loud music being played, and the students will dance, sing, and travel around the city.
It’s normally not allowed for a person to travel on the back of a flatbed truck. However, if certain requirements are satisfied, short occasional transportation, like for the graduation celebrations, are allowed. The police still need to be notified about the planned routes beforehand.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Do you know how many years the regular secondary education is in Sweden?
Upper secondary education in Sweden today is three years in length. In 1994, all secondary education, including vocational schools, were increased to three years instead of two as it had been previously.
How did you find this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
How do you celebrate graduations in your country?
Leave us a comment letting us know at SwedishPod101.com. And we'll see you in the next lesson!