There are few moments in life that are special and close to one’s heart. Graduating from college or school sits high on that list. But today’s graduation ceremonies are not the simple affairs they used to be. There are full-fledged extravaganzas with event managers, props and the works. From uniformed gowns, caps, lighting, backdrops to lavish buffets, the ordinary “white sari” graduations have turned cool. Events manager are roped in for innovative ideas like photo props and photo booths. Schools today are ensuring that their students celebrate this event in the best way possible. With graduation time among many, we checked in to find out the cool quotient to today’s ceremonies.
Sapna Rao, the mother of 10th grade student Sakshi Rao who studies at Vidyashilp Academy says, “The pre-final exams were going on, so there was not much preparation from the kids’ side. They did two to three practise sessions on how to walk, and act. The event looked like it was perfectly choreographed. And it conducted in way that it helped the children bond with friends as well. It was a perfect way to say bye to friends they have made in school.” Her daughter Sakshi was thrilled that her cousin’s were able to see her graduate 10th standard, “We were asked to follow a uniform dress code. The girls wore red sarees, while boys donned red kurtas. The best part was when they gave out awards for the student of year. Right after the event, my friends and I clicked a ton of pictures.”
Graduation was an emotional and fun affair for Bradlee Cloney, a student in Bishop Cotton Boys School says, “I just finished my graduation on January 21, which was a combined programme for both 10th and 12th students. Graduation ceremonies at Bishop Cotton Boys are always a grand affair with everything done in style, and to perfection. We had a lot of practice and rehearsals. Our Principal John Zachariah likes everything to be perfect, and he plays an important role in all our school programmes, guiding us. Our chief guest was Dr Salman Khurshid, former cabinet minister of external affairs, who addressed the graduates. There was music, different awards were given away, and a very emotional candle lighting ceremony. The programme concluded with dinner. Experience wise, it was fun as well as emotional, everybody was excited and thrilled to graduate but at the same time, we’re all a bit sad to be leaving a school we studied at for so many years.”
It’s also a party rather than a sober affair for some, or an after party for others. Manasa P Kumar, from an event management company, says, “We do everything from backdrop, decor, sound, lighting, performance, scraps on which the kids can write messages on for each other, and more. Nowadays from what I have seen, it has become more like a party. Schools are extensively trying to make this boring event feel more and more like a party. The selfie craze has driven us to set up photo booths that kids can use to click pictures instantly, and take home as a remembrance.”
Sangeetha Maben, a teacher in the city feels, “I don’t think much has changed since the actual ceremony is still the same. Earlier students and management took pride in organising themselves, now the whole event is given to outsiders where they decide things. Memories of the event earlier were on photos but now on pen drives! For big schools, those that can afford to do things extravagantly, the concept of having an event management company plan out the entire event is possible. The ceremony is the same, but it is projected very differently by different schools.”