On today’s article I’m going to tell you all about my graduation ceremony and my first day using the merchant navy uniform.

What we do during the Portuguese graduation ceremony?

At our graduation ceremony, called “bênção das fitas” (meaning ribbon blessing) we invite our family and closest friends to celebrate the completion of our college degree. .

On the next photo it’s me and my classmates:

Traditionally, this ceremony is religious, but it’s open to everyone, even people that don’t have any religion.

As the Portuguese name indicates, in this ceremony we do a ribbon blessing.

The senior gives ribbons to her/ his loved ones, so they can write good luck messages or something about their friendship.

On my nautical science degree there are three types of ribbons:

• Blue: for friends and teachers;
• White: family;
• Red: for boyfriend/ girlfriend, marital partner, etc
• Black: this ribbon is for the senior to write on and burn at the end of the ceremony.

My ceremony:

My ceremony started at 1000 with a mass, led by a priest, that lasted an hour. In the end, the priest blessed the seniors’ ribbons.

At 1100 Nautituna performed and I had to change my clothes before, so I that I was wearing my college clothes instead of the merchant navy uniform. At the end of the performance I changed back to the merchant navy uniform again.

In the end, each senior received her/ his diploma.

The first time I used the merchant navy uniform:

There are no words to describe how proud I was for wearing the merchant navy uniform for the first time!

I feel sorry my college doesn’t have the tradition of wearing the uniform of the merchant navy during classes.

Personally using this uniform in front of my family and closest friends, on a day that symbolizes the conclusion of my college time, is a huge honour!

However I haven’t officially finished my course yet, so I decided to hide the deck cadet stripe of my epaulettes.

Hope you enjoyed this post! 😉

I want to thank everyone that helped me through this years of my life and helped me achieve this goal. I also want to give a special thanks to my two photographers Lídia Matias and Amélia Gonçalves!