On Thursday afternoon the girls and I took the car to my home town for my niece’s graduation from high school on the day after.
In the morning I took a run along the lake and river. It is really a magnificent place for running. Typically such a place that one don’t learn to appreciate until you come back after some years. At the end of the run I cut through the small “downtown” to watch the students that had started the party that would continue for another 20 hours or so.
The tradition for the students is to have champagne for breakfast and then travel around the small square, singing, in decorated wagons that the farmers normally transport their hay in (this is country side). After receiving their grades and (not) listen to the principal wishing them good luck on their lives, they march in a huge samba back to the square to meet friends and families. After an hour of hugging, they all travel in different unimaginable vheicles around the square again and sing until their voices break and it’s time to go and get the presents they never wished for and be nice to the relatives for a short while until the party continues. It was the same procedure when I graduated 20 years ago and it seems like the tradition will live on.
Nothing much seems to change in my home town, for better or worse. One could imagine that the closing down of the nearby SAAB factory would be like a wet blanket over the community, but its does not seem to affect too much. A couple of new restaurants has opened and there are some more clothing shops since last year, but all in all it’s like going back in time when ever I visit. In some way it’s comforting when everything around is spinning faster and faster.
Next week it’s midsummer celebrations in Sweden an everything will stand still from Thursday afternoon. Before that we will celebrate my niece again. It’s her 18th birthday, a wonderful age. Before mortgages, colic and customers with overdues.