One of my favorite things about traveling is learning newer and unique customs / things about the places I visit. And one such unique Dutch custom that I learnt of recently is Geslaagd. I came across this custom in Vaals when I staying with my friends P and J. Generally walking around town I saw school bags, note books, purses and banners (with Geslaagd written on it) hanging from flag poles, trees, doors etc in some houses. For the life of me I couldn’t understand what this was for and thought it meant some sort of spring cleaning. But I couldn’t have been more wrong.
My friend P explained that this is a common sight after school results are declared in June in the Netherlands. Whenever a student passes his/her exams and graduates from school, he /she hangs their school bags, purses, books etc out at a prominent position in their houses as a sign to say that they have geslaagd, or graduated or passed their exams.
Background story to this custom is that before the advent of phones, internet, social media etc you could just walk / cycle around and know if your friend / acquaintance passed their exams or not. This was to save any awkward conversations / enthusiasms in case the results had been negative.
Unique and intelligent isn’t it? 🙂
I loved this custom and wished we had something like this growing up. I would have loved to fling my school bag (along with all my text books) up in the air to never ever see it again 😉