04 November 2004


Today is Berend's* sixth birthday.

The Dutch have a brilliant birthday tradition: they eat cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on their birthdays.

And they don't just say "Happy Birthday" to the birthday boy or girl. They say it to everyone at the party, in the household, at the school, and in the street.

It's a safe bet that you'll have to say it at least a few times a week here.

What they actually say is more like "Congratulations" ("Gefeliciteerd," pronounced "Hay-feliciteerd"). As in, congratulations on reaching your sixth birthday. Or, congratulations on your neighbor's son's sixth birthday.

They also open their presents straightaway after waking up, like on Christmas. There's no waiting for the grandparents to arrive or until the candles are blown out.

Instant gratification and loads of sweets = Heaven.

*Berend is one of the children I nanny.

betholindo at 10:35

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