The students usually wear their school uniforms, but at our school they are not required to wear uniforms (as a boarding school and special gifted school we have a freer atmosphere within the building). So the third grade students just dressed up. Most of them looked pretty snazzy.
Much like American ceremonies, the principal called the names of each graduate and they crossed a stage to receive their diplomas. Of course, in the Korean ceremony, there was a lot more bowing.
Contrary to what you might suppose, Korean ceremonies are a lot less formal. Students and parents talked the whole time (the atmosphere was similar to that of a wedding in this country). Nobody paid any attention to the principal's speech. And the strangest part (which I think might be unique to our school, as we seem to have a higher tolerance for student shenanigans than most schools) was that every now and then the third grade students would rush the stage in groups and scream out messages of love for their teachers or perform little dances for them.
Here is one some girls from his homeroom performed for Mr. Jang.
It was strange. But funny and cute.
I stood near the Japanese and Chinese native teachers, and we chatted in Korean about what graduation ceremonies are like in their countries. I think we all agreed that this Korean ceremony was the silliest.