We had a class reunion for my Estonian school last summer. It was 10 years since the class graduated high school, and 13 years since I left to move to Sweden.
This summer, it’s 10 years since I graduated high school in Sweden. (One year got “lost” in between because Swedish children start school later, and because I spent that year learning Swedish and “getting integrated into the Swedish school system”.)
The interesting point is how differently the two events were organised. The Estonian event was planned half a year in advance – first contact was made in January I believe, and the final reunion was in August. For the Swedish one I had less than a month’s advance notice. Oneexplanation that came to mind is that Estonians are more mobile. A larger proportion of the class has moved to other cities and other countries – I think about a third of us were living abroad at that time – so everybody was conscious of the need to give people time to plan. With the Swedish class, on the other hand, most seem to have stayed in Sweden. Out of 14 country-specific domains (i.e. excluding things like hotmail and gmail) only two were non-Swedish.
Of course, another reason for the short planning horizon may just be that nobody cared strongly enough to start working on this until now. 12 years tie people together a lot more closely than 3 years do. Last year’s Estonian reunion was more important to me than this year’s will be – I’m not even sure yet whether it’ll be worth making a trip to Sweden just for that.