Friday, May 25, 2012

Graduation

One of the graduate's son!
We made it just in time to Makerere University Business School for their graduation today. After going through security, we were ushered to our seats. There were two sides: one side had the graduates, the police band, and the dancers while the other was for parents and the faculty. There was a section in the middle with a red carpet for the Chancellor's procession. As we went across that section, the announcer called all the attention to the students from the United States. The principal, Mr. Waswa Balunywa, addressed the congregation which was followed by a dance. Then they announced the best male and female performing student. They each got a reward of 500,000 shillings (about $200). The Vice Chancellor addressed the congregation followed by the Chancellor, Mr. George Kagonyera. The Chancellor's speech seemed more political than about the graduates. He did tell them what not to do with their degrees. At one point, I remember him saying, "Don't use drugs" about three times in a row and he said to "avoid behavior that will conduct HIV and AIDS. It was interesting because he was so straightforward and direct about it. Afterwards, the graduates were then awarded their diplomas. Instead of saying each name separately, the Deans would ask each graduate receiving a certain diploma to stand up and present them to the Chancellor who would then congratulate them. Once the degrees were all awarded, the Chancellor closed out the ceremony. It was then followed by my favorite part which was the music and dancing! What similarities or differences did you see between graduation in the United States and Uganda? What did you find most interesting?

11 comments:

  1. The graduation ceremony was so interesting to attend. It was such a formal affair with people dressed in such nice clothes. I thought it was similar that both in the United States and Uganda we have speakers at our graduations. This was also different because the Ugandan speakers dove into more political talk than what we are used to at graduations. I found the dance party at the end of the ceremony very interesting. What a fun time! They played great music and people were excited about such a special event in their lives. I am glad we were invited to attend this graduation.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I didn't really know what to expect going into the graduation and I had somewhat of a negative attitude going into it after hearing about the experience from last year. However, I definitely enjoyed it more than I expected and found some similarities and differences between their ceremony and ours. Like Emily I noticed that they focused their speeches more on politics than on the graduates themselves. I learned more about wanting to become a separate university than the accomplishments of the graduating class. It was also odd that they didn't announce each person's name individually (although I'm not complaining since it saved us a good portion of time). The yelling and ay ay ayys was something that I hadn't experienced to that degree before. Finally, I really found the way they incorporated their culture through music and dance into the ceremony to be the most entertaining and celebratory part of the ceremony.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I enjoyed the atmosphere of the graduation ceremony! It felt really special when they announced us as we walked in. I thought the entrance of the students was very fun and cultural! Instead of playing Pomp and Circumstance as they do at our graduations, they played cultural music and had dancers. It definitely lightened the mood and made for a fun experience! At the end of the ceremony every got up and danced and they placed a variety of fun music. This was different than in the U.S. where we take graduations as a very serious event. I'm so glad we got to attend this event!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I was expecting the graduation to be really boring and long after hearing stories from last year. However, it was actually more interesting than what I expected. I was surprised that the graduation was more of a celebration and motivation for the students compared to graduations in America. Our graduations are normally more serious, so I found the graduation here to be very entertaining with all of the dances. They often referred to the importance of education and how it aids in sustainable development. Overall, I had a good time at the graduation. It was very obvious that it was a very important event in their lives!

    ReplyDelete
  5. The graduation ceremony was very different from anyone I have ever seen. My high school graduation was very traditional I would say. It was an indoor event in which we sang the national anthem, the principal spoke as well as three students and the superintendent. This graduation didn't have any student speakers but did acknowledge the best students. The red carpet and arrival of the chancellor were two differences that I noticed. The chancellor was dressed very extravagantly and seemed to be the center of attention.
    I found the dancing and music to be the most interesting. Their culture is extremely important and plays a major role in their life so it is only suiting that they would incorporate this into the ceremony. The graduation ceremony was very different than I imagined and I'm so glad this was added into our schedule!

    ReplyDelete
  6. The graduation was very different from USA graduations. My high school shoved as many people they could into our gym and then announced us one by one. Afterwards, everyone would split into their families and then travel to others graduation parties. I think in one day I had about 8 parties to go to. So, I never go to ask this question, but do the graduates of MUBS have graduation parties? My favorite part of the ceremony was the last part with the dancing and when the boys jumped right in with them and danced. At one point Joshua even got out there and danced to his native song. I completely understand now how important music and dancing is to Uganda. It truly brings everyone together. The graduation was not at all what I was expecting, and this is a good thing. Im so happy for all of the graduates at MUBS this year!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I thought the graduation ceremony was really interesting. I wasn't sure what to expect going into it, but I was pleasantly surprised. I thought the dancing and music during the ceremony was a great way to celebrate their culture. Plus I felt the music was much more entertaining than the United States. I also appreciated how they gave us something to drink during the ceremony, because some of those people had been there all day. I was impressed how during speeches almost everyone talked about how to sustain education in Uganda. I thought it showed some great goals to have. Overall I would say it was a great experience!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I really enjoyed the graduation ceremony! It was so lively and really focused on the many achievements of the students and alumni from MUBS. It was a lot different tho from the graduation ceremonies we have in the United States. My graduation from high school was in my field house. We did have our principal speak but we also had our Superintendent as well as School Board members speak to us. They spoke a lot about our futures more than our achievements. Then we had student performances and speeches, followed by procession which went through every student's name, one by one. They recognized each department at the MUBS graduation. As much as it is really cool to watch your peers perform I loved the cultural music at the graduation and the way the Drake students were able to dance with the performers after the ceremony. The music and performances are really what made the whole ceremony, and I had a great time and felt honored to be there!

    ReplyDelete
  9. You correctly observed the point of not reading the names of graduates is critical thing to think about. Some parents waited to hear the names of their children which wasn't done. Sometimes they do this to avoid prolonging the ceremony. In the past they would read the names and if the students were many the ceremony would end quite late. I think they should read the names though. John Odyek, New Vision

    ReplyDelete
  10. I loved this graduation ceremony! It was amazing seeing the dancers, colors and everything in between. In my opinion, I found it to be very different from that of a US graduation ceremony. There was so much fun, dancing, music, and political speeches? I found it odd that the president was discussing such strong, heavy topics at a graduation ceremony. I mean, I'm down to talk about preventing AIDS and drug use too, but maybe a graduation ceremony is not the best place to do that. Like others said, I was kind of sad when they didn't announce everyone's names at the ceremony. I know from personal experience, it feels great and hear your name get called out in front of a large crowd for an amazing accomplishment! However, I did find out that the students that attend for three years, have their ceremony in january the following year and get their names announced. The MUBS students were trying to discuss this with me and it was kind of confusing. Also, I loved the celebration at the end of the ceremony. I jammed out. haha. But seriously, it was so much more lively than throwing a hat in the air. Fantastic experience though. I loved it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. @Lauren. Mubs graduands also have parties afterwards. ssome even have it a month after. this depends on your planning.

    ReplyDelete