Japanese Graduation! – 関西外大の

Today was the graduation at 関西外大(kansai gaidai)! I went to see my friends graduate.

The ceremony is very different from an American one though. As far as the actual ceremony goes, the Dean and other important people give a short speech, and awards are given to different students/groups. And thats it. I was hoping to see the students walk across the stage in their very pretty outfits.

The outfits are a major difference. Essentially, people are allowed to wear whatever they want for their graduation. Among the thousands of graduating students, I saw one girl in a maid costume (it was black and white, and the skirt was pretty short). I heard of another girl in a cocktail dress, and I saw a few in suits. I also saw a few guys wearing their dou-gi (martial arts uniforms) in dress form (means with a black piece of clothing over it, tied at the waist with thick rope, but I don’t know what this is called).

Most girls choose the traditional Hakama and Kimono-like top. It’s really pretty, and it was awesome to see so many people my age dressed like this. The fashion for boys is to wear a suit, though there were a small percentage wearing traditional dress as well. Personally, I think the traditional dress is much cooler.

The other major part of this day that struck me as unique compared to America is that, after the official ceremony, all the students pretty much separated from their families and met up with all their friends. For hours. The school gave free food, and everyone went around talking and taking pictures with classmates for the last time. This is something I’d really like to see in America.

Anyway, I had a really great time. If I figure it out, I’ll upload pictures (help would, of course, be appreciated…).

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