Originally Posted by westofyou
Sounds a lot like a black baptist church service.
Which begs the question, is this a cultural thing?
I'm sure a lot of different things factor into it -- high school graduation was viewed differently at the school I went to (private, Catholic school in Washington DC), where everyone was expected to move on to college and possibly graduate/professional school, than I'm sure it is in other places where high school graduation rates are lower and a diploma represents the highest level of education most people will be expected to obtain.
But, I hesitate to say it's simply a "cultural" thing. A given culture can be more accepting and tolerant of joyful or boisterous celebration, but we're talking about an issue of common good and respect for fellow celebrants. As Roy pointed out, these events are attended by lots of different people -- I know when I graduated from law school the ceremony was extremely taxing, physically, on my grandparents. Sitting in uncomfortable folding chairs for an extended period of time was difficult for them, and anything that extended the ceremony would amount to additional physical discomfort. I don't think "culture" gives one a right to make an experience unpleasant for others.