Long ago I learned that social rituals are observed to seal an event, give meaning and help people adjust to changes. Graduations, weddings and funerals are examples of “rituals”. Rituals are to be respected; performing rituals bring the community across the threshold. As such rituals tend to be highly prescriptive ceremonies and full of symbolic meanings.
I attended a graduation ceremony recently as a guest, marveling at the colorful robes (also called regalia) on stage and wondering how it has come to mean so much to us. Most of us there had no idea how this ritual came about but there was no mistaking the parents’ pride and the graduands’ exuberance!
Given the number of little teddies on sale, it was obviously not part of the ritual to take one home.