Birthday Celebrations Are Not Special for Everyone

birthday photo

In some cultures birthday celebrations like this birthday party in El kSalvador are important, but in other cultures they are not.

By Liwen Ye

People in the U.S. and other countries think that birthdays are a normal celebration. It is a time for parties, friends and presents. But for some countries, birthday celebrations are not very common.

It's very difficult to find people from the United States who do not celebrate birthdays. "I went out with my friends to celebrate my birthday," said Ms. Honerkamp, who is an ESOL teacher in Blair.

However, according to students from different countries, people don't always celebrate birthdays. "I lived in a small village in the South of China," said ManWen Ye, who is a junior in school. My parents didn't celebrate birthdays for me and we didn't have any parties or presents," she said. "I don't feel special on my birthday. It seems nothing to me."

Even though young people in China don't celebrate birthdays, some families celebrate birthdays of the grandparents. "On my grandma's birthday, everyone in the family went to her house to celebrate. We had dinner together and gave her some money," ManWen said.

In the southern part of Vietnam, people are just like the people from China. "Well, in my country, not many people celebrate birthdays, it depends on if they live in a village or a city," said freshman Bang Nguyen. "But I would feel happy and fun if my friends had a secret party for me," he said.

In some countries in Africa, it is similar to the countries in Asia. Birthdays are not special. "In Chad, my family doesn't celebrate birthdays," said senior Fortune Djenonyombaye. "When we came to the USA, my dad celebrated his birthday for the first time when one of my aunts came to my house with a cake," she said.

In Ethiopia, it depends on where people live to know if they celebrate birthdays. "Some people who are poor don't celebrate birthdays. But people who are rich want to have a big party to show off," said senior Tizeta Girma. Tizeta's sister, Senayit added, "Some people don't know their age or their birth date," she said.

But in Latin countries, almost all the people celebrate birthdays. One very common and popular birthday is the 15th birthday celebration called "Quince añera." They do a lot of things in that day. "On my 15th birthday, we had a big party with food, drinks and cake. My family also treated me good," said Karla Quinones, a senior from Bolivia. " I feel so special because in our culture that's when we stop being a kid and become a young adult," she said.  

 Copyright Silver International Newspaper 2002 (This page was created by Elvis Castro.)