Coming of Age Day in Canada

Coming of Age Day in Canada

Probably the equivalent of Coming of Age Day in Japan is the day teenagers graduate from high school in Canada.  A lot of pressure is put onto teenagers to graduate with their peers at the end of grade 12.  If a student has bad grades or doesn’t have all their credits, they will have to stay in high school longer until they fulfil all the basic requirements.

Graduation Day is extremely important for high schoolers.  It’s the day where they are considered to be adults and contributing members of society.

On Graduation Day, an assembly is held either on school grounds or at a fancy hotel or meeting hall - the location depends on the school and its budget.  All the students wear formal robes and a square hat with a tassel attached to one corner.  The robes and hats come in a variety of colors, but the most common are black, navy blue, and purple.  The principal and other members of staff give a speech congratulating the students on their long journey through high school and wish them luck in their future endeavors.  

After the speeches are done, the students are called up to the podium, one at a time, to collect their diploma.

At the end of the assembly, the new graduates say farewell to their principal and teachers before moving the celebrations to a different venue.  Some students go to a fancy restaurant afterwards, while others go to bars and clubs in groups. 

By the time Graduation Day rolls by, most of the students will have turned 18.  They will be able to drive a car, vote, and drink - in some provinces.  They will become independent and confident in their ability to choose their own path in life.

Vocabulary:
Coming of Age Day 成人の日
Teenager 十三歳から十九歳までの若者
Peer 同等の人
Basic Requirements 高校合格の要件
Podium 表彰台
Contributing member of society 社会の貢献メンバー
Tassel 飾り房
Future endeavors 今後の取り組み
Venue 開催地

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