Customs of Europe – Geslaagd!

25 Jul

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.

Geslaagd, Netherlands

Geslaagd, Netherlands

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.

Pic Courtesy - t

Pic Courtesy – t

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.

Geslaagd, Vaals, Netherlands

Geslaagd, Vaals, Netherlands

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 😉

11 Responses to “Customs of Europe – Geslaagd!”

  1. antarikanwesan July 25, 2015 at 16:11 #

    That’s actually interesting! My results just came out, let me go out and put a geslaagd sign. Guess, the bag would be stolen soon if it is left out in the open here in India 😀


    • getsetandgo August 23, 2015 at 19:57 #

      Lol.. So true…. I cant imagine hanging anything outside my house and expecting to see it the next day 🙂


  2. GalOnTrip July 26, 2015 at 09:59 #

    i studied in the netherlands for several years, but i’ve never done that before, putting the geslaagd banner or backpack in front of the apartment. surprisingly, i haven’t seen my dutch classmates doing that either. or i just never paid attention. so yeah, this is my first time to see that custom.


    • getsetandgo August 23, 2015 at 19:58 #

      Hi, my understanding is that its quite a common custom when you finish school…


  3. justanotheranimefan July 27, 2015 at 23:40 #

    Very interesting- thanks for sharing!


  4. Expatorama August 5, 2015 at 17:35 #

    Oh wow, I remember this from when we lived in the Netherlands years ago. I just loved that most people on our street had a flag holder bolted onto the fronts of their houses for general flag waving during celebration days, international sporting events and the hanging out of the schooltasjes.


  5. Gayatri Chopra September 4, 2015 at 13:01 #

    Hi Snigdha,
    Thank you for the wonderful post. It’s really amazing to know that there exist there are these kind of traditions. People in Netherland are really wonderful when it comes to celebrate occasions and traditions. Whenever I’ll get a chance to visit Netherland again, I’ll take a trip to see how many bags does the place has hung so far!


    • getsetandgo September 21, 2015 at 14:59 #

      Thanks Gayatri…. Increasingly I am coming across such unique customs is many small places all over the world…. It’s festivals like these that help you add so much more to your travel experience…,


  6. Darshan November 28, 2015 at 11:09 #

    You seem to have an eye for culture and traditions.Many of us might just pass treasures of such unique and wonderful things around and never ever bother about,Your curiosity is a blessing for many of us. Thanks.


    • getsetandgo February 6, 2016 at 21:30 #

      Thanks Darshan for the kind words and encouragement…. Its such kind words that inspire me to look for these treasures 🙂


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