Actually I wanted to spend the night of my birthday with other volunteers, who are living nearby. I planned to go to a nice restaurant and to have dinner there, chats and everything else you’re looking for on your birthday.
But when I shared this plan with my host family, they immediately asked why I want to spend the rest of my birthday after work outside of the home in a hotel and not with them. And sure they were right. The normal type of birthday I can always have in Germany, but I only have one birthday in India and especially in this family. And that’s exactly the same what they thought, so I was allowed to invite as many friends as I wanted to join my birthday function.
Then on my birthday itself, I was very curious about how the day would be because I had no idea how Indians celebrate birthdays. And yes somehow it is very different, because how I experienced it, Birthdays and the age are not so important for them. I mean some people don’t even know the exact date of their birth, some only the year. So I was even more amazed when I realized, that they were planning something special. That I had to invite many of the relatives of my family personally to that event, that they asked many times if I already ordered a cake in a bakery and they wanted me to buy new clothes for that evening were signs for me that it is really important for them, that I will have an amazing experience.
But nearly nothing was ready when my friends came to my house. Well most of my Indian family was already there and was helping my host parents to prepare the dinner. And what they prepared was huge. They wanted that everyone who is coming will have the best. So there was veg-samber, but also non veg food, like chicken pallia and fish fry. And when I told them, that I don’t want them to do so much for me, they just said that it’s my birthday and it’s only a little variety of food they are preparing. And when I saw that we will eat on banana leaves and not the normal plates I realized, that it really is also a special day for them. And I was happy, because they were happy to host so many people and especially friends of mine in their home because of my birthday.
Now I cannot imagine a better birthday experience for my birthday in India than this one.