Being the oldest Gerrit many times has to try out new cultural things when it comes to school matters. Also this time. He is in his final year now, and here in Hungary that is being celebrated abundantly. At the beginning of the school year there is an official celebration, where every student who is in his final year gets a ribbon. He can wear this throughout the year. In that way everyone knows this is a 12th grade student.

Last school year the preparations had already started. The boys all got a new tailored suit, so they would all look similar. Also a dance teacher was hired to teach them a special dance. Since there are eight classes with graduate students the styles all had to be different. Gerrit’s class did the charleston swing dance, like in the twenties; for this dance there were also special clothes needed.

The entire happening was about to cost quite a bit, and I looked at this tradition with a Dutch, critical eye. But last Saturday the great moment had finally come; after I had fixed the pants – Gerrit is taller than the other boys in his class – and adjusted the suspenders the party could begin.

Gerrit had to be there a few hours earlier, because they were going to make some official photgraphs. When he had put on his suit, I felt like a proud mom. I started to wonder if this tradition perhaps exists to make you as a parent realize that your child is growing up to become an adult.