FF - Say happy birthday to each other!
Every other Friday I tell you one of my ‘Fuck-ups’. Hopefully, this saves you from some super awkward and embarrassing moments.
I was living in Singapore as an expat and Rob (an expat from England) threw a birthday party. Of course my other expat friends and his girlfriend Lisa were invited too!
I arrived at the party and walked up to Rob, saying ‘Happy Birthday’ after which I walked up to Lisa and said ‘Happy Birthday’ to her too… She looked at me weirdly and said that it was not her birthday. Which I replied with a surprised ‘I know’.
I walked up to my expat friend from the U.S. (Kim) and said ‘Happy Birthday’ as well, she mentioned as well that it was not her birthday... I thought, what is up with these people? Clearly, I know that it is Rob’s birthday... I mean everyone got the same invite right?
It took me a while to realise that it is a very Dutch thing to congratulate each other with someone's birthday.
I recently took my British, expat, boyfriend to my sisters birthday. Congratulating everyone (my parents, brother in law, my aunts and uncles, her friends) with my sisters birthday. Of course, they all congratulated me and my boyfriend with my sister as well…
For me, super normal… for expats apparently not. So are you going to a Dutch birthday party, or with Dutch people?
Saying ‘Gefeliciteerd met (name)’ to everyone in the room! It is normal 🙂