Student caps and overalls
In Finland, when you pass your matriculation exam and graduate from high school, you can wear the white student cap, studentmössa. This is something to be proud of, and the graduation ceremony, where the cap is worn for the first time, is an important occasion. At university, students wear the student cap on a number of occasions.
One of these is 30 April, when Åbo Akademi students gather to celebrate the start of Wappen, the first of May. Another is Finland’s Independence Day, 6 December, during a procession to the graves of war heroes.
During your stay in Finland, you will also surely see students dressed in overalls in different colours. Overalls are particularly used at special events and parties by students in Finland and Sweden. The student associations offer the students the chance to buy an overall during the freshman year, and the colours vary according to faculty and field of study.
It is customary to personalize the overalls, and they are almost invariably decorated with various badges, souvenirs and inexpensive gadgets. There’s also a practice of swapping a part of the overall with another person, typically with a partner. Also badges are readily swapped, especially amongst friends who are of different associations.