Mar 22, 2015

Graduation Ceremony with New Zealand style Pomp and Circumstance.

Adjusting her robes, with pink lining to denote The Arts.
So our eldest has gained her Degree with Honours (an extra year by invitation only), she has been studying English and History for 4 years, with 1 year off in between for her O.E. (overseas experience; most young people in NZ try their courage on an extended working holiday somewhere-in-the-world-but-not-NZ, usually starting in old mother England.)
Our girl supported herself with supermarket jobs and transcribing work. Like all students, she has a student debt. to pay back the government.
Usually the graduation ceremony is in April, but as she thought she might be away overseas again, she and a number of her friends asked for special permission to have it at the earlier date in October.
That coincided with the many foreign students, which added a very multicultural flavour to the whole affair.
Excited graduants and family milling about at starting point.
We managed to reach the starting point with 10 minutes to spare, after driving for 4 hours and struggling through the Friday evening city traffic.

All the graduates were to walk through the middle of town, an old tradition. To show off the cities' finest assets, the Educated. The traffic was halted, and people stopped to watch.
3 Development Graduates, the woman wearing her
Maori tribes' special feather cloak to honour her.
Although it looked like a huge dress-up party, the robes with their coloured linings and hoods, the trenchers and caps were all worn with pride, and many had added honourable symbols of their culture, such as tribal cloaks, flowers in their hair, leis around their necks. This was encouraged by the University, to make it more meaningful to the individuals.

Everyone marched through Wellington, the traffic was laid still. European kiwis,
Muslim women, Maori and Pacific Islanders all together.

Several pipe bands accompanied the graduates and family.

We all walked to the Wellington Public Library.
We all walked to the Wellington PublicLibrary, a lovely building to look at, to be addressed by the Mayoress and the heads of the University. After that we trooped into the Michael Fowler Concert building for the Ceremony.

A Pacific Islander( perhaps from Samoa) was wearing his beautifully woven
 lace patterned lava lava, to show the significance of the day.

The Mayoress of Wellington and the University president addressing the crowd.

This was the third ceremony this week already.

Please click on this  to experience the Maori Welcome.
We were welcomed with a Powhiri (poh-fi-ree), a Maori Welcome with the asking of ancestors' attention and a challenge to the new graduates.
I will spare you the next 3 hours; with trumpet players, speeches, jazz performance, classical music, speeches, and the long handing out of certificates.

Many families of the graduates responded to their loved ones by yelling praise, breaking into impromptu chanting, and sometimes well rehearsed haka's (maori or pacific island sung/shouted challenges with rhythmic footstamping and dance gestures). There were also a few outbursts of ululations from middle-eastern groups, towards some of the Muslim women getting their degrees.
And of course much applause for everyone. 

This added to a very excited joyful atmosphere, in which the audience contributed their part.

Our daughter just receiving her Degree with Honours in Humanity Arts.(English and History)

A very Proud Family.

All in all, a long, but memorable experience, which I would not have missed for the world.
We sure had a few drinks that evening with all of us to celebrate!

After the Ceremony, a weekend of nice dinners
and enjoying  our capital city.


12Create said...

Congratulations to your daughter. That must have been a very proud and special day for all of you.

Elmtree said...

Yes, I look at the photos and I get a wee bit tearful...!