Wednesday, April 25, 2012
A to Z: Verjaardag: Birthdaying in Dutch
But jarig, an adjective (in English it might be more of a verb) is used much more often. Instead of saying today is my birthday, people say Ik ben jarig vandaag, which translates as I'm birthdaying today. In Dutch, you wouldn't ask when's your birthday, but when are you birthdaying (waneer ben je jarig?)
In Holland, birthdaying is a unique thing that, for us poor non-Dutch souls, is totally worth experiencing.
That's why the gift you bring is so important. It's something like your VIP pass to the all-inclusive party.
One more quirky jarig custom: The jarig person isn't the only one that gets the happy birthdays. Family and close friends are also congratulated.
Say you have a coworker who happens to mention it's their father's birthday. Your response? Gefeliciteerd (congratulations). Or gelukkige verjaardag. Or hartelijk gefeliciteerd. All with the hard G you practiced with the Gezellig post. Listen to some jarig congratulation phrases here.
At the jarig parties, jarig circle or not, family and close friends get a gefeliciteerd, too. Even if you don't know them. Even if you just met them. Wife? Gefeliciteerd. Boyfriend? Gefeliciteerd. Son or daughter? Gefeliciteerd.
You've now completed Crash Course in Dutch Manners 101. You're ready for your first jarig celebration in Holland (or Curaçao).