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The Odd Tradition of the Swedish Studentflak

Sweden has a lot of strange traditions.

av Maximiliam Gernandt
2016 06 29, 11:15am

Sweden has many strange traditions. From our desire to eat fermented fish to dancing around phallic symbols, we're no strangers to the odd chapters of our Swedish heritage. One example of this is the Swedish way of celebrating graduation with the Studentflak. The tradition of the studentflak, which can be documented as far back as the 1930s, is best described as a soaking wet cortège of students driving around in a truck. The truck is almost always decorated with a cheeky slogan, accompanied by the smell of stale beer and filled with dancing and shouting students.

However, this alcohol-fuelled tradition isn't completely risk free. Earlier this summer, a 19-year-old student fell off a studentflak and died when he was run over by the truck. Several other incidents have taken place throughout the years when celebrating students have fallen off the trucks and gotten seriously injured. Even though there have been plans of prohibiting the studentflaks completely, only new laws and rules have been implemented when it comes to the cortèges.

We sent out a photographer to capture some beer spraying students celebrating on a studenflak driving through the streets of Stockholm. The tumultuous joy and the hundred cans of beer sprayed on him left him slightly scarred and very sticky.