corders in the hague

It's like having the Corders round for dinner - except the kids don't smash stuff and Mike doesn't drink all your booze. And when you're bored you can get rid of us with a mouse click rather than having to start tidying up the house.

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Location: The Hague, Netherlands

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Dutch idiosyncrasies

Julia turned seven today. Which brings me to the latest in what is turning into a very occasional series of posts on Dutch idiosyncrasies.
Today's is the habit of congratulating people on birthdays. Not the actual person celebrating a new year - they do that too, but I don't consider it unusual.
No, they congratulate more or less anybody who has ever met, glanced at or read about the person whose birthday it is. I swear, if we had a dog, our guests today (each and every one of whom I love to death) would have congratulated it.
This is how it goes: Guest A walks in gives Julia hug and congratulates her, then Guest A turns to Irmie and says "congratulations on Julia's birthday." I consider this just on the edge of not being odd because Irmie was pretty intricately involved in Julia's actual birthday seven years ago. The A turns to me kisses me three times (left cheek, right cheek, left cheek) and then says "congratulations on Julia's birthday." Then they turn to Esther: big hug, "congratulations on your sister's birthday." Then on to Oma and Opa (grandma and grandpa). Same thing: "Congratulations on your granddaughter's birthday."
By the end of the afternoon, I heard this (honest): "Congratulations on your sister-in-law's daughter's birthday."(!)
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2 Comments:

Blogger Tim & Meraiah said...

Yep, that's weird.

8:39 PM  
Blogger Beecroft Shields said...

I would like to wish you a happy birthday Julia, and I hope you are having a good time in Holland and I really miss you. Love from Bridget.

2:40 PM  

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