The DUTCH BIRTHDAY = SHOCKING to foreigners! (confronting if you’re Dutch)


I found it interesting that you just sit and talk in a circle… They like to sit in a circle! Whenever someone enters everyone has to kiss the person. It was a fun experience but I was also just so confused because the entire time everybody was congratulating me… It was a family friend of mine, but everybody was still coming up to me and saying ‘gefeliciteerd met jouw verjaardag’ I said: what?!?! Actually it’s a culture shock for me… the Dutch birthday parties. We are sitting in the circle… it’s almost like playing a game. Everybody is eating in the circle. Everybody is drinking coffee, tea, beer… some snacks. Everybody is sitting in a circle just talking no music no big party celebration it takes some time and then everybody goes home. There is just a cube of cheese with an olive on it. Of course, that’s not going to fill your stomach! Yes, I find it a little bit different… because in India food is quite important. So we celebrate with food… And for Russians: No food, no party! That’s it! No food, no alcohol… What are we actually doing here? In Asia, when it’s your birthday… then we’ll give the present to the birthday boy or girl, but they will not open it immediately. Here they open it immediately… right after the party. If you give someone a gift and… they already have that gift, they say: Oh, I have this already. Can I return this for something else? In the US we would never say something like that! We just smile… and when they’re gone we say: Oh, I’m going to regive this. It’s so common in the Netherlands: First you ask: what do you want for your birthday? Straight forward! No guessing. There is one main person collecting from the closer friends some money. Each person contributes. And then we buy a bigger gift. Once, I remember… the host, actually he said: I moved to a new house… I want a trash can. Who wants a trash can for a birthday!?!? But yeah, so it’s a very nice this tall kind of a trash can. We were buying it collectively. The thing is: now quite a lot of things changed. So I noticed that a lot of these clichés or the definitions that we hear do not apply anymore to the new generation. The one Dutch birthday that I have been to seems was influenced a lot by American birthdays. We just had the starters. Had a birthday dinner at a square table. Just sat around the table. We sang ‘Happy Birthday’ in English. And then we sang the ‘Lang zal ze leven’. ‘Lang zal ze leven in de gloria.’ ‘In de gloria…’ ‘In de gloria!’ And then everybody is like: ‘Lang zal ze leven, yeah!’ Also, they often say: HIEP-HIEP HIBBEDIHIEP-HURRAY HIEP-HOERA HIEPERDEPIEP HIERPERDEPIEP, yeah HIEPERDEPIEP, HOERA!!! HIEP-HIEP-HOERA!

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  1. Gefeliciteerd!!! I was also a little bit shocked when the first time heard that you need to buy your own birthday cake on your own birthday.

  2. "I already have that, can I return that? In the US we would never say something like that". And you guys still have Boxing Day where you literally return the presents that you don't like… We call it "Tweede Kerstdag" where you go to your other family to celebrate Christmas that you couldn't see the first day.

  3. I try sometimes to not celebrate my birthday in a circle, by making different places/corners in the house (like a place where I put snacks, a place to play a game) but every time my guests just end up putting all the chairs and stools in a circle. It's so weird. I'm trying to be original but my guests prefer the circle. I guess that circle is just in our DNA.

  4. I'm Dutch.
    You all described all the parties I had in my entire life 😹
    Except the food.
    When my family has something to celebrate, we can feed a whole orphanage with the leftovers.
    Who's party is that too? 🤚🏻

  5. This is why a lot of Dutch youth (like me) don't like to celebrate birthday's with family. I hate it so much, it's super boring and stupid.
    Birthdays with friends however are a lot fun, basically just going out or throwing a house party.

  6. I've decided to break this stupid tradition haha. I was a student until recently, and always celebrated my birthday at my parents' house, since our appartment was so small. We live in a nice appartment now, so when it is my birthday I'm going to have music, won't get too many chairs, get some standing tables and maybe have a nice bbq, since we have a balcony now. However, I don't understand why people in America for example don't open their gift right away! I want to see the joy my gift brings the other person!

  7. New age just going somewhere to eat and drink..but you have to pay iT yourself..welcome to my birthday party..

  8. Here’s a big explanation if you have further interested in Dutch bdays. 😜
    Birthdays for family and friends are celebrated differently. I know a lot of Dutch people (including me) who even mix it up on the same day. During the day your family and closest friends come. They just have some snacks, a piece of cake, some drinks and talk to each other. Because of this, my friends and family know each other and talk to each other. I like how personal it is.
    Usually everyone congratulates each other personally (with three kisses or a handshake) by entrance or just the bday person and main family members and maybe a general ‘congratulations everyone’ if there’s too much people. The guests choose the time to give your present (some friends wait for more people to come) and at that moment it’s normal to open it and show your appreciation. And it’s true that it’s usually something you asked for or they already know what you want to have. But it can also still be a surprise, because not everyone knows what they want for their bday and like to be surprised. Normally we end up in a circle to face everyone, but we can also have separate tables to stand around. Then we make a huge batch of pasta with salad (or any other easily prepared food) for whoever decides to stay for dinner (which is usually a lot of people). Sometimes we ask before who wants to stay for dinner, so we know how much to make.
    Family leaves during the end of the day or after dinner and other friends come during dinner time or after. Then we turn up the music, make space to chill and dance and get drunk. After that we all usually go to a bar or club to celebrate further. 🎉

  9. Shocking!
    my first birthdays party, No music, no dance, no surprises, no friends without invitation… And the "jarigejob " make its own cake working like crazy attending the guests. If everyone has enough cake, snacks and drinks at the right time, party was successful… Hahaha

  10. 1:30 As a Dutch person this is the biggest nonsense I've heard all day. The guy for whom he bought a present must be an absolute dickhead

  11. Even if you find dutch people who say: No thats not the way it goes. Trust me it does😂😂😂 Come to a Suriname party next time.

  12. I find it very surprising that this channel is about Dutch culture, but then forgets to add the very important distinction between a "family birthday party" and a birthday party you have with/for friends. I've been to birthday parties from friends and family of my wife, who's from America, and some of those are exactly the same as in the Netherlands.

    It seems like this channel just feeds into stereotypes for the views.

  13. The example is more a family kind of party. With friends it is not sitting in a circle but eating and drinking a lot thru the whole house

  14. I live in belgium i hate it here i want to move to america when i am 18 i dont care if i dont have monny or a house but i want to het out of here

  15. In some countries you're not aloud to open your presents right away. Now that's just sad, the person you got it from can't even see your reaction. I'm happy we don't do that in the Netherlands. I love seeing how people react to my gift.

  16. It's the same in Belgium. And the worst part is that you have to throw (and fund) your own party. If you work or go to school, it's expected that you bring sweets or cake or pie to treat everyone.

    Basically, celebrating your birthday here means everyone gets treated except you, the birthday boy/girl. Which is bs, if you ask me.

    But it also happens a lot that people go to clubs or raves or themeparks etc for their birthday, inviting friends.
    But again, it's still expected that the birthday boy/girl pays for everything. So it's pretty expensive to grow older over here xD

  17. i dont know if its just me but i think the tradition is dying off. Ever since i turned 10 nobody came to my birthdays anymore and i barely got congratulated by anyone and when i was it was always through my parents phone. I dont even get birthday cards. So either my family just hates me or its dying off because of internet.

  18. its crazy, i’ve lived in the netherlands all my life and never experienced a birthday where everyone sits in a circle, we usually just sit at the table or in the kitchen with snacks and music..

  19. I don’t know who these people went to celebrate to but this isn’t how it goes with any of my friends and family in the Netherlands

  20. I was born in Holland, we only sat in cirle in 1st and 2nd grade. But never have I ever seen fuqers celebrate a birthday in a circle. Its BS

  21. I am Dutch and 43 and i have never been to or heard about a Birthday where people sat in a circle, apart from it supposively being a Dutch ritual that foreigners tell each other. Most absurd nonsense ever.

  22. It's not just you.
    I'm dutch, from the south. Congratulating all persons in the room is weird, and I never saw it before untill I went to a birthday in the north of the Netherlands.
    I still can't wrap my head around the logic behind it. You congratulate a person on it's birthday, you just say hi to the rest.

  23. This is actually so stupid. Like its not a "dutch" thing to say "oh i have this one already" alot of these things are individually so how can you apply then to the entirity of the group?

  24. Yeah, Dutch birthdays are boring as fuck.

    That's why last year to celebrate mine, I only invited over a couple of friends, arranged a couple of Super Smash Bros. setups and we played that all day.

  25. I hate the fucking circle i always go upstairs and play videogames with my cousins and nephews cuz i dont want 10 different people to kiss me lmao

  26. The trick is to be one of the first people to arrive. Then you get to sit on the couch and everyone has to come by you to shake your hand instead of you going around the room because you're late.

  27. De gasten moeten naar een verjaardag toe waar ze helemaal geen zin in hebben, en de gastvrouw of heer kan de hele dag met koffie en gebak lopen zeulen. En niemand is blij met cadeaus want we hebben alles al. In sommige families is het een gewoonte om ook de familie van de jarige te feliciteren, ja daar begin ik dus echt niet aan.

  28. I’m Dutch, but I don’t really recognize the circle principle? The other stuff is pretty accurately described 😂.

  29. i dont sit in a circle??
    i litetally just get a cake, some presents and then it just ends lmao
    we don’t say “oh no i already have this can i return it” why would you do that??

  30. Hey, if you're reading this, please don't stop. It's useless information but it's fun to talk about.
    There may be things you do not understand. Please read story 2 too. You'll understand story 1 better.
    We, people who grew up in the Netherlands, have something called "Sinterklaas". He was a selfless man who bought a slaves freedom. As gratitude the slave tagged along and is the "Zwarte Piet" that we know. But "Zwart" means black and so, tropical countries that once belonged to the Netherlands removed the historical story and replaced him with elves. They are currently trying to ban "Zwate Piet" in the Netherlands to. Most states still keep the historical figure, but some threw it away. They now have "Houtskool Piet". Houtkool is Charcoal. They hire white people (nothing wrong with that, but come one. He was a historical figure!) and make it look like they climbed through a chimbney.

    Story number 2
    In the Netherlands we have a historical figure: Sinterklaas or Sint Nicolaas. He was a very selfless man. We celebrated his being with a holiday and presents for kids. His story (the version that is told to kids) goes that he comes from Spain and that he rides on a White horse: Ameriko.(Don't know if I remembered her name right, and I don't know if it was a he or a she.) He has people that work for him, "Zwarte Pieten". They would climb down chimbneys to deliver presents if you would set your shoe there.cIn front of the chimbneys. You would have to leave a carrot, an apple or some sugercubes for the horse and he would come. When we introduced the holiday to America the turned Sinterklaas into Santa (the one from Cristmas). They made an all new figure. A man that gifted children. A man that was very selfless. He had elves and went into the chimbney to deliver presents underneath the Cristmas tree. He would fly around in a sleigh that was pulled by magical reindeer. The people in America introduced Santa to the people in the Netherlands. Santa is now "De Kerstman" literally translating to "The Cristmas man". That's why we in the Netherlands kind of have two Cristmasses.

  31. Seriously, why would you not buy your own birthday cake? You are literally the host of your party, of course you're responsible for your cake, or for the vlaai in the south where I'm from.

  32. We purposely form a circle and sing birthday songs in order to summon the spirit of Willem van Oranje so we can hold a ghost party.

  33. They way the Dutch celebrate their birthdays are some what different than most other countries but it's a lot better than what I've experienced in other parts of the world. In England they just go to the pub and get drunk until they fall down, the same in Australia and the same in the USA! So, good for the Dutch for being the way they are and keeping up the traditions. Hieperdepiep hoeraaaaahhh….

  34. zit in a circle? which country have these people been to, and who told them it was The Netherlands? or are they referring to the fact that if you invite 20 people into a 4 person home, you end up sitting in one big group having fun together? what do they do in their own countries? sit with their backs to each other? or divide into smaller groups? hmmm yeah, sitting with your back to each other instead of in an all inclusive circle sounds much nicer!

    adults sit together at the table in the house or with stand tables in the yard and get shit faced drunk, while the children play together outside. i am confident in saying this is what 95% of dutch birthdays look like.

  35. Except for the two cheerfully singing girls at the end of the video, some of the comments seemed to be a bit offending, like presuming one's own non-Dutch habits to be superior.
    There are more sides to a Dutch birthdayparty than only shown at the first impression.
    Many of the discussed assumptions just aren't true, Sorry to say.

  36. As for the circle: Many obvious and valid reasons are mentioned below. On top of that:
    I hate to be at some birthday parties (mostly abroad) where you are supposed to stand upright in little groups of people. Not too close please, that's considered to be intrusive. Neither too far away: Intrusive as much.
    And just when the conversation you think you're involved in starts to get interesting, your conversation partner says: Excuse me (meaning to say: I do see someone who is more interesting/rich/influential than you, and I rather wish to end this one, thank you) and leaves the spot.Polite rudeness. Please do me a favor!

  37. Again Evilgelic Americans telling me what is wrong with my country. Learndutch is the most offensive chenel on youtube. You have a president who fucks pornstars…. Hypocrites. America is the reason people dont believe in god.

  38. Dutch people reserve the big parties usually for special occasions. Like for the 18th, 25th, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th, 70th or 80th birthday. Or to celebrate receiving your degree from school. Or for marriage or newborn.
    Often through primary school the kids get a bigger celebration with classmates and friends.

  39. I usually don't go around and congratulate everyone in the circle… usually just the birthday person and their direct family, then I just shout 'congratulations!' to the rest of the people in the room before sitting down.

  40. We're not that rude that we'll tell you that we already have that gift! We'll ask you if you still have the receipt, because you decided to give me that amount of money in the form of a product that was already given to me so I might as well return it, get money for it, and utilize that amount more efficiently in the form of savings, bonds, or stocks. 🙂 Nonetheless your gift was well received as it added to our happiness, which was the point to begin with 🙂

  41. Don't get me started about the regular Dutch birthday "party". It's not a party. It's a little seance without real connections. It's a ritual without spirit. Participants of the ritual are not supposed to behave "too" excitedly. Dutch birthdays are conventional, practical, cheap, and utmost boring.
    Especially when there's not plenty of food and booze, as is usually the case…

  42. When someone his birthday is in my life it’s just everybody is talking to each other they’re away from each other it’s not that we sit in a circle and just talk it isbeverybody is talking with someone or dancing or something and many food ofc like fries or chips or just everything people want

  43. pro tip: if you stay around until like 17:00–18:00, chances are they'll get some chinese or fire up the frying pan for everyone still around if the cheese and leverworst aren't doing it for you

    also, that was a very nicely sung "lang zal ze leven".

  44. As a Dutch person myself, it's the foreingers point of view that confuses me. I get the circle is a weird thing, but what else would you do? Split up around the house doing whatever? That doesn't sound festive. As for the food, a birthday celebration shouldn't be about stuffing your face, it's about celebrating a life. You get food because a good host keeps their guests fed, but they aren't forced to serve you an entire meal lol. You can cook your own meal when you go home. I also believe that being straight forward about what gift you want is way better than getting a surprise gift that you won't ever use. It's a waste of money otherwise. At least a garbage can is something you know you will use a lot. if anything, regifting sounds even more stupid. You didn't want the gift so you dump it on someone else? Wow, real thoughtful and cheap. I bet you make me pay for the wrapping paper as well.

    To me it sounds like they want a birthday party to be like some college party with lots of booze, lots of fatty food and someone getting dicked in the bedroom. Yeah, how about no.

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