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The Graduates

Last weekend marked the end of school term for many Finns and for some it meant graduation. Friday saw the streets busy with young people - some in the pubs and some (not old enough yet) hanging out at the local coffee shop. It was a familiar scene, except for the sailor's hats.

For some reason this coming of age ceremony is marked with white cap with a black brim that looks decidedly nautical. Some came with a long tassle, some wore a black version and one cheeky lad wore a Cat in the Hat-style one, but everyone was wearing a hat. Saturday saw the official ceremony and most of the tiny town of Jakobstad put on their best outfits to watch as hundreds wore their wholesome little hats.

I'm not sure what these hats signify and everyone I asked seemed to think it was erfectly normal to get your kids dressed up as Popeye in formal wear and thought it was weird me even asking about. They do they in other Scandy countries so perhaps it's a link to their naval history.

Sauna-0-meter (saunas taken): 3 including something called an infrared sauni which may just have been a solarium.

Most strained similie used in a draft review: "Like a recent divorcee in a new leather jacket this hotel has had a superficial re-vamp, but closer inspection reveals a mustiness."


  1. Good enough for the Village People, then it's natty enough for the village of Jakobstadt.

    Weren't you advised by your travel agent to pack a hornpipe for matriculation? A shame.

    How goes the dirty gritty biz of fact-finding - is it all sauna hopping with Espoo sylphs, or the occasional tariff check?

  2. Good point on the saunas, Anon. I just added a sauna-o-meter to keep track of this crucial stat.
    Mostly just research thus far, but am hoping to get to Estonia for the weekend which will be less work.

  3. What a wonderful tradition!

    I heart Scandinavian Sailor Bachelors!

    Oops, hang on.

    At ease.



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