|Trust me, my sign of my sister was not that bad (or big) compared to others.|
|Throwback to when I graduated high school with my Filipino-Hawaiian sister!|
When I got to college, I'll be honest and say I Facebook-stalked a lot of my new college friends (don't act like you never have!) and of course stumbled upon many of their recent graduation photos. Most of them weren't covered in leis, and they'd be lucky to have more than two.
When I went to my college's graduation last year, the only people that were covered in leis was a Filipino girl from Hawaii, and the only Pacific-Islander guy in that class (if you want to know, he was Tongan, and if you have never heard of Tonga before, look it up :])
Even my roommate during my freshman year of college (bless her heart) innocently asked me one day,
"Is it a Filipino thing to get covered in leis at graduation?"I wondered, why is it that Asians and Pacific Islanders are typically the ones who go crazy like this at graduations? I grew up in a heavily Asian/Pacific-Islander community before college, so if non-Asians were doing it, it was typically out of influence from the Asians/PI's. If I ever see people at schools where it is not predominantly Asian/PI, the people who got lei-d were Asian/PI.
But the question is, why?
To be honest, I'm not really sure, but I can make a few guesses.
They're just really proud of their accomplishment. They might've just been so happy and wanted to go all out for them. Simple as that, and completely understandable. More understandable for college especially.
They're very creative. If you see some of the posters and leis people make for their loved ones, so many of them are soooo nicely done and neat. For many people, they're just really creative and making beautiful signs and banners are just part of their natural way of expressing themselves.
They want to show off their graduate and their pride for them. This is pure pride. Not in a bad way, but pride as in they want to represent their graduate and show everyone that they did it. They want to show everyone how much they love them and how awesome they are for graduating. That's why if you go to a graduation in my hometown, everyone and their mom is almost having an unspoken competition for which family can be the craziest and loudest for their grad.
It's cultural. I don't ever remember learning about all the leis and stuff being cultural for Asians, but for Pacific Islanders there are the shell necklaces, the intense islander crowns and all that good stuff. It may be cultural for them to celebrate that way, but I'm not too sure.
What do you think? Does your family do this? Are you not Asian/PI and your family still does this? I might talk more about this in a Youtube video sometime soon or graduation season next year because I think it's such an interesting phenomenon.
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