Last day of school in Ukraine

While out walking on Thursday, I noticed a lot of young kids dressed rather… uniformly. While uniforms were the norm in my life, and indeed the life of 99.9 per cent of school-aged kids in Australia, seeing them on kids here is… unexpected.

Okay, so they weren’t wearing uniforms per se, but all the boys were in black trousers and white shirts, and all the girls were in black skirts and white shirts. And they had red Miss World-style sashes proudly draped around their chests.

I texted my Ukrainian friend Lena: Is today the last day of school? There are lots of dressed up kids around with ribbons on.

She promptly replied: That’s it exactly! There will be a lot of drunk kids around the city tonight.

I later found out that the uniformly-dressed kids would have been from a certain school, other kids weren’t dressed so uniformly. But they did dress up, and it was a nice touch.

So there you have it – it was the last day of school.

Now, it’s a Ukrainian tradition to get your photo snapped in front of famous city landscapes and monuments on your wedding day. It seems it’s also tradition on the last day of school.

On this particular day, I was walking in the park around the riverbank, and the young’uns were getting photographed in front of the Dneipr River and the Lavra, which is one of Ukraine’s oldest monasteries (dates back to the 10th century).

And the weirdest thing I noticed was that, as the day progressed, the girls changed from their modest uniforms into weird gothic-inspired French Maid uniforms…

Here are some photos from the day






And in case you’re wondering, no. I didn’t see too many drunk kids around in the evening. There were a lot of spontaneous fireworks, though…


25 thoughts on “Last day of school in Ukraine

  1. From the sounds of it, they were all from the local waiter’s school.

    That doesn’t sound as strange as what they do on the Coast, I was at Bay Village shopping mall once and there were all these kids celebrating the last day of school and they all had obscenities written all over their uniforms with texta. Now that was bizarre!

  2. How very odd! My eldest daughter left school last Sept.and my eldest son is leaving this Sept. I often frown at their outfits(both are a bit unconventional)but this is just weird!!!

  3. That last photo is pretty cool. What is up with those uniforms??
    I remember last time in St Petersburg, seeing brides and grooms everywhre getting their photos in front of the city landmarks.

  4. Methinks those girls just got out of Madame Fifi’s Sexy School of Sultry Maids of the French Variety.

    It’s the only possible explanation.

  5. French Maids oohlala; the only thing we ever did on the last day of school was throw our berets out of the school bus window; this looks much more fun!

  6. Maybe you should text your friend and ask about the French Maid thing…. It makes the picnic and water balloons that we have planned look mighty boring.

  7. That is really weird!!! I suppose Yr 12’s all tend to have their own way of celebrating – you only have to look at the Gold Coast during Schoolies Week – now, as you know, that is really weird!!!

  8. Interesting. I don’t miss much about my high school years, but I do miss knowing I would have the next three months totally off!! and what is up with the maid thing?? odd.

  9. that one looked like the flying nun getting ready to glide out over the fence,

    Very weird outfits – must be some traditional thing

  10. I love the pics! And this must be where the dyevushka craze for short skirts starts – although I am pleased to see they have resisted stilettos for the moment…

  11. there must be a story behind those french maid outfits!! great jumping photo too, and it is nice to see what the rest of the graduating kids do in other countries.

  12. Wow! I wish my grumpy old F-I-L could see those pics. He’s always on about ‘In MY country……..” Everything there [centuries ago] was so much better, the children much better behaved than here. We would be treated to these stories every time our children indulged in bizarre American behaviour, and every time something awful was reported on the news…maybe if he saw those French Maids he’d ease up a bit!

  13. The “french maid outfits” are old Soviet school uniforms. Girls were required to wear black wool dresses and I believe the white aprons were worn on special occasions (i.e. first and last day of school).

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