Once a year, our birthday comes round. Once a year, we get the chance to celebrate this occasion maybe by doing something wild, or something low-key.
Next week, it’s my birthday. I’ve never done much for my birthdays and this year will be no different. Part of me simply doesn’t like a big fuss. A big part of me is simply introverted and really does not like being the centre of attention.
Birthdays are a time to have a good time and maybe some sweet treats.
When we celebrate our birthdays, we treat ourselves to me-time. A time where we do something we want to do and really just have a good time. There are so many ways to have fun on your birthday and make each one a one to remember:
When we’re the birthday person, having people sing Happy Birthday to us is usually an awkward affair. No matter what language the song is sung to us in, we struggle to compose ourselves during the tune: do we stare at the cake with candles, then at the singing well-wishers, and then stare at the cake again?
It’s my birthday next week and I’m quite certain I won’t have to deal with Happy Birthday being sung to me. I’m not big on celebrating birthdays and have never thrown myself a birthday party; this year is no exception. Each time my friends suggest they throw me a birthday bash, I insist I won’t turn up to it. However, in the past I’ve had to put up with a few surprise birthday parties and of course, that song.
When Happy Birthday is sung to us, we can be respectful, polite and show our appreciation to the singers and so-called singers. After all, they’ve obviously took some trouble to show up and bring a cake with candles to us, be it store bought or homemade. The least we can do is sit and stare at the candles until the song is over.
When my birthday rolls around each year, I insist on having an ordinary day and my friends baulk at this. To them, birthdays should be a time when you have a good party. Or a time when you stick by fanfare-esque birthday traditions.
Both of these are quite alien to me. Have I lost touch with my Asian roots when it comes to birthday traditions and the spirit of celebration altogether?
It’s officially the last few days of 2013. On the 31st, lots of Melbournians will pack locations with crystal clear views of the city’s skyline, count down to midnight and view bombastic, colourful fireworks displays, welcoming 2014.
There’ll be similar celebrations around the world. New Zealanders will be the first to usher in the New Year and feast their eyes on vivid explosions of fires in the skies. Those in Malaysia will get to see fireworks erupt around the Petronas Twin Towers.
Fireworks in the sky in Melbourne. It’s hard to take our eyes off fireworks, something that we don’t see too often. Photo: Mabel Kwong
There’ll be fireworks in Hong Kong too. And in Dubai. London. New York. Los Angeles. We all love fireworks, don’t we? It doesn’t matter if we’re Chinese, Indian, American, Spanish or any other race. When there are fireworks above us, we’ll face skywards. Why?