Adulthood
general
Initiations

Cigars on Graduation Day

Information on the Informant: The informant for this collection is my brother who currently is a Junior at Georgetown and studying Business. He plays football there and is very involved in Business clubs and intramural sports. He is an incredibly avid sports fan and follows football, baseball, basketball, and hockey very closely. He attended Loyola High school, the same school that I went to, which is an all-boys Jesuit school in downtown Los Angeles. While there he was the starting quarterback of the football team and also led numerous retreats while holding a position on student council.

The tradition from the informant:

“After every single graduation ceremony for the seniors at Loyola, it is an unwritten tradition for all the graduates to smoke a cigar after the diplomas are passed out. I don’t know why it started but it is mostly just a symbol of our next chapter in life, where we are older and more mature. It is one of those traditions where the younger students look at it as a sign of success because in order to do it you have to graduate. Some of the faculty aren’t too fond of it because it can be dangerous having hundreds of cigars lit up in a small area but all the students do it regardless because they all feel as if they deserve it.”

Analysis: This example of smoking cigars after a graduation, or an initiation into the next chapter of life, is a good example of a ritual done in order to enter into adulthood. Additionally, the tradition makes sense that it occurs at an all guys school because typically smoking cigars is something that guys enjoy more than girls do. Not to say that girls don’t smoke cigars but simply that it is typically done by men. Also, one other notable thing is that the cigars are usually fancy cigars that are purchased by the father’s of the sons who are smoking the cigars. The father buying the cigar is a symbol of initiation into adulthood after high school.

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