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:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY/GELUKKIGE VERJAARDAG, CORRIE!!!

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

Jo

1 Comments:

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,

Corrie

5:30 PM  

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