Today was the last day of classes for 11th year students - they only need to pass their leaving exams to graduate! Russia has 11 years of classes, unlike America, which has 12. However, they start a year later here, so the graduating age is the same in both countries. Last bell is a big deal - it's celebrated in all the schools, and then the students head to various parks and famous places like Red Square and Victory Park for more celebration. Victory Park was having a concert with performances from students and even a few famous pop stars.
Every graduating student wears a ribbon that says 'graduate 2011' - some are colored like the Russian flag, like these girls are wearing. Others I saw today were red, and a few were just white. Both girls and guys wear them. Another tradition seems to be to dress in old style clothes, including large hairbows! I saw many, many girls dressed like this - it was really fun to see! We don't have anything like this in America - celebrations are usually done as celebratory restaurant meals and/or private parties - certainly nothing the whole country celebrates! I think it's great, especially because this isn't something that happens just in Moscow, but other cities in Russia too. It's basically like a holiday for students. What's graduation like in your country?
posted by Ashira