Swedish students on a truck 


This time of the year, a common sight on the streets of Sweden is students on trucks. Dressed in traditional white caps, and bolstered with alcohol, the students jump up and down to the booming music from loud speakers concealed in the vehicle. They scream and shout and spray beer on each other and sometimes unsuspecting pedestrians. They are celebrating the end of their school career. Most of them are 19 years old and have just graduated from Sixth Form College/High School. 
Every year the media reports accidents and injuries, which is not entirely unexpected. And trucks have been banned from certain roads and areas in the towns. 

In Sweden, doing ‘studenten’, as it’s called in Swedish, is a major rite of passage into adult life. The youngsters finish their last day at school, come running out of the building to be greeted by waiting parents and families. They then climb aboard their trucks for their lap of honour. After that they go around to each other’s homes where each family usually arranges a reception to honour the newly-graduated student. 

It is a common sight on the streets of Sweden and a refreshing reminder of the hopefulness of youth. 

One thought on “Swedish students on a truck 

  1. As an old-timer (I’m 44), I feel compelled to point out that the student trucks are a fairly new tradition. In my days, the tradition was to be surprised by your parents or older siblings, who picked you up individually in a ride that was somehow or other spectacular (vintage car, horse-and-carriage, a decorated wheel-barrow – there was no end to our parents’ imagination and ingenuity). All these motley equipages would go up and down the main streets of towns and cities, horns honking, causing traffic jams for hours.
    But over the past 20 odd years, that tradition has given way to the more uniform student trucks.
    I think the risks for individual students are probably no greater today than they were back in the days – some of the more ingenious equipages were decidedly unsafe – but the drinking was less heavy, and I liked the diversity better.

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