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Ho Chi Minh City 12th graders celebrate graduation with Holi-style color fest

Friday, May 26, 2017, 14:50 GMT+7

Twelfth-graders from a private high school in Ho Chi Minh City marked the end of their 12-year student life by smearing each other with color in front of their school.

Pedestrians along Nguyen Khuyen High School on Thanh Thai Street in District 10 on Thursday were stunned when dozens of students appeared at the school gates which bags of colored powder ready to hurl at their peers, mimicking celebrations traditional of the Hindu festival of Holi.

The 12th graders filmed the celebration and uploaded the videos to YouTube the same day, causing a stir amongst internet critics and busybodies.

Though supports of the event weren’t shy to point out that finishing high school is a once-in-a-lifetime accomplishment, detractors were quick to label the Nguyen Khuyen 12th-graders as inappropriate. “What kind of students dirty their own school?” said one commenter.

Despite some negativity, the students can rest easy knowing their biggest supporter is none other than their schoolmaster, Nguyen Xuan Thao, who believes the celebration isn’t worth the fuss of YouTube critics.

“Why [are some people] so serious?” he wondered to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper during a phone conversation on Thursday after confirming that the school gate had in fact been ‘attacked’ with the color.

“The students were only having some fun,” the schoolmaster said. 

“We only warned them to take care of their health. That’s all.”

Thao said the school had held a ceremony on Thursday morning for 12th graders to pay tribute to their teachers and parents, a traditional activity marking very end of their 12-year student life.

“As our ancestors teach, no one is as mischievous as students; I don’t think the act is offensive,” he said.

“The students have tried their hardest during their three years at this school and we don’t judge them for how they chose to celebrate this special occasion.

“There is no problem with them having fun.”

Thao asserted that 12th graders everywhere, not just Nguyen Khuyen, want to indulge in the same ‘mischievous’ behavior to end their student life.

The school head also confirmed that he had been informed of the celebration by the students.

“I told them to do what they want to do, but to pay attention to their health,” he said.

“I reminded them to avoid hurting the eyes before the upcoming national exam.”

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