Graduation Italian Style

Spending a day in Padua with my sister, we were treated to countless fancy dress performances by newly graduated medical students. Everywhere we looked,  little groups of family and friends had surrounded bedraggled tipsy students  wearing costumes which might have been recognisable a couple of hours earlier, but had morphed into tatters, apart from laurel wreaths on their heads. Their task was to read aloud the scrolls telling their life stories written by fellow students, very long and very bawdy. Each time they made a mistake, they had to take a drink from whatever tank, barrel or flask had been provided. naturally, th longer it went on, the more drinks they had to consume.

All this was accompanied by singing “Dottore, dottore…” (I gather the rest of the refrain would be unprintable if I knew how to write it.)

A more civilised celebration was held at the home of friends whose daugher had graduated from Venice University in Mandarin Chinese. We, and the extended family of around 40 people gathered for a meal and a huge cake. No singing, but plenty of prosecco!

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