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!