A friend invited me to his niece's birthday party and I was really excited about experiencing a Dutch birthday celebration.
Surprised by the arrangement of the room I asked myself, 'Where is the party? How exciting is this, everyone is sitting just talking?' We were first offered a coffee or tea, then either a slice of cream cake or apple pie, after that hors d 'oeuvres or another serving of coffee or tea, and finally, a beer. All this time I was sitting there while everyone was speaking in Dutch, and wondering to myself, 'Am I at a birthday party?' In my country, we celebrate birthdays with music, a lot of food, snacks and games for the kids. After two hours I asking my friend, 'Is this the way Dutch people celebrate their birthdays?' He responded, 'Yes, we celebrate our birthdays in a civilized way.'
Civilized or not, I got my Dutch birthday experience, but I did not get my anticipated ice cream, see the birthday girl blow out the candles on her birthday cake, or dance. So as for attending another Dutch birthday party... I think I will politely decline. Ryan Baseanoo, PhD Student at the Land Degradation Group, from Trinidad and Tobago
Do you have a nice anecdote about your experience of going Dutch? Send it in! Describe an encounter with Dutch culture in detail and comment on it briefly. 300 words max. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and earn fifty euro and Dutch candy.