Speaking about Birthdays


1. How are birthdays celebrated in your country?

Life in Vietnam has been Westernized (tây hóa) in many ways, and birthday celebration is a part of that Westernization. That’s why in many birthday parties, a must-have song is “Happy birthday to you” and it is sung in English.

To celebrate a birthday, for adults, people usually throw a party and invite family members and friends to join. For children, their parents can celebrate the party for them. It can be self-catering (tự nấu nướng) at home in a cozy atmosphere (không khí ấm cúng) or in a restaurant with decorations and a set party menu (thực đơn tiệc combo) from a professional caterer. (nhà cung cấp dịch vụ ẩm thực) Sometimes friends will have a surprise party for the person if he is lucky enough to have lots of friends who love partying and who know his routine well enough to gather favourable conditions into a meaningful surprise party.

2. What are some birthday traditions you know of from other countries?

As I remember, for Chinese one month birthday, people usually eat red eggs and ginger as food of good luck. It used to be because children died at an exponentially high rate (tỉ lệ rất cao) after getting 1 month old in China. It was considered as a spell of the time (lời nguyền của thời gian) so perilous (nguy hiểm) that a party needed to be celebrated to help the infant win the ill fate.(mệnh yểu) Now fatality rate (tỷ lệ tử) for infants in China is not that high anymore, so the Red eggs and ginger parties are chances for parents to proudly introduce their children to their acquaintances.

3. How do you like to celebrate your birthday?

People may throw themselves into dance music with lots of friends and multiphase celebrations. (tiệc nhiều tăng) However, I only want my special day to be quietly spent with my beloved people in the family like my parents, wife and kids and one or two best friends. It is because I only feel that I am unconditionally loved by my family members, and I am really cared for by my best friends. I think my birthday is important occasion to enjoy the good quality time (thời gian chất lượng) with them, not a chance to socialize with people who I may have very superficial relationships (quan hệ hời hợt) with.

4. What is your best birthday memory?

I still remember my 10th birthday in the 90s of the previous century. My parents promised my brother and me that they would take us to Nha Trang City enjoy games in the children playground, so on my birthday, they fulfilled that promise. (thực hiện lời hứa) The only memory at that time was how excited I felt when playing with the seesaw, (bập bênh) the slides, (cầu tuột) and the carousel (vòng quay ngựa gỗ). I was really grateful to my parents. You know, it doesn’t seem hard to create a happy event for children. Parents just need to keep their promise. I am glad that I had that birthday celebrated that way. It was an unforgettable memory to me.


5. What is your worst birthday memory?

Honestly, I don’t remember anything that makes me feel annoyed on my birthday ever. I guess I have been lucky not to fall victim of (thành nạn nhân của) any tricks or accidents as people often see at birthday celebrations where the decoration is on fire or the face of the party host gets smeared with cream cakes. (đập bánh kem vào mặt của người chủ tiệc)

6. Have you ever had a surprise birthday party for yourself or someone else?

I am not a fan of surprise. I usually play it safe (chọn cách an toàn) to avoid any possible inconvenience for the figure of the event. (nhân vật chính của sự kiện) Therefore, I usually check with the person to know his or her arrangement for the date and make sure that if I take the responsibility to arrange the celebration, everything from decoration, to activities, music, food and drinks, and even the corner for gift display should be well prepared.

You may say I have a negative outlook on life (cái nhìn bi quan) but I can imagine a thousand of things that can come to destroy the beautiful moment when someone steps into the room and is struck with astonishment (ngạc nhiên) to see the whole bunch of people there celebrating his birthday he may have forgotten. If people launch such a party for me, they may find me too tired to enjoy it, or that my plan to enjoy it with someone else has been destroyed. It’s not a good memory you want to keep for the date right? I don’t want that inconvenience to happen to me, and that’s why I don’t play around with events of other people’s lives.

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