Sunday, November 25, 2007

From Monday On ...

The most important book I've been studying lately is a guide book titled "Culture Shock! A Guide to Customs and Etiquette - Netherlands" by Hunt Janin & Rita van Eil, released in 2000 as a New Expanded Edition of the first issue from 1998. I'm lucky I had this expanded edition, suppose the following entry had been left out in the first issue, I hardly dare think of the consequenses:
"NEVER FORGET A BIRTHDAY. For the Dutch (young and old alike) birthdays are major culturel events. Forgetting a birthday is such a major blunder that in most Dutch homes you will find a "birthday callender" hanging on the door of the toilet, where it can be pondered frequently and at leisure" (p 105).
Well, last time I visited the mens room in a Dutch home I didn't notice the mentioned "birthday callender", I suppose I should have went to the ladies room to find one, but that would have been most inconvenient and an example of breaking the rules of any decent etiquette, I know. Culture shock - I have to digest this concept further! Luckily, I remember which day it is today, let's all know it now in a jazzy way:


The main thing about your birthday may be the question, whether this special day is the first day of the rest of your life, the turning point that introduces a new era ahead. Well, the question may be unimportant when the same old friends and family drop by to congratulate during the day. Luckily, your birthday, dear Corrie, is on a Sunday - then you can hum along here



Anonymous Corrie said...

Thank you for this great surprise, Hanne and Joergen. Not every house has a brithday calender at the toilet door. We don't have, as we have an organizer near the telephon, also a place we visit frequently like the toilet. But you're right - forgetting a birthday is a mortal sin.

Groeten voor alle vier,


5:30 PM  

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