Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Japanese Birthday Party: Not Just a Regular Party

Few things are as common as birthday parties. After all, we have birthdays every year, and generally, we celebrate it every year as well.

However, last week I received an unusual invitation for a Japanese Birthday Party.

After I received the invitation through an sms, an avalanche of questions ran through my head: How do Japanese people celebrate their birthdays? Will the birthday boy cook Japanese food for everyone or will he choose to serve Mediterranean food now that he is living is Spain? What will be the atmosphere like? Will there be a lot of people present?

As soon as I got the message, I tried to persuade some of my friends to accompany me to the reunion. However, I was unsuccessful.

In a different situation, I wouldn’t have gone to the party. But this time, my curious instinct was stronger than me. Even if I had to go by myself, there was no way I was going to miss that party: I had to experience how Japanese people celebrated their birthdays.

When I got to the party, the birthday boy was still cooking. Despite the fact there were not many people present at that time, judging from the amount of food on the table, I could sense it was going to be a big celebration.

After little time, the place started to fill up. I never imagined that we were going to be so many… and so many people from so many different countries.

There were people from Japan, Taiwan, Paraguay, Colombia, Germany, England, Spain… and surprisingly, everyone interacted with each other without problem.

This surprised me because many times when we organize reunions, we feel uncomfortable about inviting people from different groups because we are afraid they won’t get along, or they won’t find something to talk about.

However, it seems like Japanese people are more concerned about not leaving anyone out, and utilize they cordial ways, generosity and amiability to create a friendly atmosphere where everyone can get along.

That night I enjoyed myself meeting new people, trying new dishes (from Japanese to Spanish and Latin, sweet and salty, vegetarians and with meat).

It seems like in Japanese parties diversity is the key to success.

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