A World of Proms


Gazeta Karowska

Polish girls proudly display their red garters at Studniowka.

 Prom season in the United States means promposals filling social media feeds, ads for prom dresses covering magazines, and the lingering search for a restaurant that has not filled up their reservation spots. In the U.S, prom traditions vary from school to school, but the formalwear-filled night is fairly consistent around the country.

 Across the globe, customs for this end-of-the-year dance prove to be very different. In Germany, students celebrate passing secondary school and exams with a post graduation dance called “Abiball.” Dressed in formal attire, the students attend the dance with their siblings and parents rather than dates. Teachers, family members, and friends are all invited to join the graduating class. The festivities begin with a ceremonial procession, followed by speeches, awards, sketches, and ending with an afterparty continuing into the morning at a dance club.

 Seniors in Finland leave school in mid-February to get ready for their March exams. After studying hard, rising seniors have a more exciting spring schedule as they ring in their new status of graduates with a dance called “Vanhojen Tanssit.” Vanhojen Tanssit is a formal and stately event where attendees waltz, tango, and even perform some American folk dances.

 The hundred days before graduation, Polish students have “Studniowka,” which translates to “hundred days.” There, students and teachers take part in Polonaise dancing and share a glass or two of champagne (the legal drinking age in Poland is 18). It is a tradition for females to wear red garters or lingerie for good luck, while males often sport red ties, pocket squares or underwear.

 “Fiesta de Promocion” is the Peruvian equivalent of prom. Early in the event, attendees are composed of students, parents, and teachers, who eat dinner as well as dance. Later in the Fiesta, the adults leave, giving the teens time with each other. Friends remain together throughout the night, and come together in larger groups in the morning for a breakfast feast.

 Whether you’re North, South, East, or West, teens around the world find joy in uniting for a graduation rite of passage. Prom truly reflects the life and culture of each school.