Years and age

What does it mean to you to get a year older? Do you feel the difference from the day before your birthday? In many cultures there are different celebrations for that special day.  Some people like to celebrate their birthday, while others prefer to forget or actually do forget it. In English the word means ‘the day when you were born’, same as in German ‘Geburtstag’, while in Spanish we simply refer to completing another year, counting up or down, ‘Cumpleaños’, one more or one less…

Birthday cake

An Austrian birthday cake

On that day, if you celebrate, you  become king or queen or star for a day. People congratulate you for being born (they should congratulate your mother…) and give you presents, not always. In Germany, for example, if you go out with your friends you are the one who should pay and they bring you the presents. In Mexico you should’t pay for your meal and usually everyone contributes to pay the bill. Many of my colleagues in Munich used to bake a cake and bring it to the office or to school. It is a real honor to bake the cake for the day. You may believe it or not, but in the IT companies I worked for the men were proud bakers, while many of the women simply bought the cakes. I did’t ask why… Men had the recipes from their mums or grandmas and I found that quite nice! The German culture is a cake culture or should I say a self-baked cake culture?  I wasn’t that good at baking and had only two fool proof recipes, but my mother-in-law had about ten times more!

Here in Mexico, you rather buy the cakes in the bakeries.  After more than 20 birthdays out of Mexico I really enjoyed this one. I didn’t have to bake and didn’t pay my meal 😉 Over here we usually sing the famous song “Las Mañanitas” that mentions the day that you were born was the day when all flowers were born and the nightingales all sang… very poetic! However, the poetic part gets lost when it is your neighbors who have engaged a Mariachi group to sing “Las Mañanitas” to someone in their family or to their sweetheart at 5 or 6 am when the sun sets and the birthday is starting!

In Germany there is a special hymn “Hoch soll er/sie leben, drei mal hoch!” Something like with honour should he or she live, heigh up, three times up! And if you’re not that big and heavy you may be thrown up in the air three times!! You may be very familiar with birthday parties in the US, there are many films and TV series that show you the celebration. I remember that the tradition of cake and candles is an American one… I hope I’m not wrong.

This year was a very special birthday for me. I felt that I had a accomplished a major task. I have closed a big cycle in my life and have started a new one. It’s been like beginning to write a new book, with some old and many new characters, some good, some mean… 😉 and in a different surrounding. The book I finished, was an exciting story with a positive ending. The one I’m starting is one with a good beginning and I hope it won’t get very rough (accidentado). There will always be laughter and happiness, sadness and tears, and all those emotions that make life worth living it. I’m very excited of what this new era will bring and I’ll keep you posted 😉

p.s. I like to celebrate with family and friends, but I don’t like to confess my age. However, there are always good schoolmates who remind you of it and of those good old times in Kindergarden posting the exact dates on your Facebook page…


One thought on “Years and age

  1. Siempre me haces reír!
    Me parece curioso que en holandés decimos verjaardag, tal como ‘cumpleaños’ en español, y no ‘geboortedag’ como los Alemanes. Se podría utilizar la palabra geboortedag, pero en un contexto administrativo, rellenando un formulario. En Holanda si hay que pagar la invitación tambien, aunque tu estés de cumpleaños. Bastante extraño cierto? Un abrazo!! Espero que vuelvas pronto al mundo WordPress..

    Liked by 1 person

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