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Birthdays: A Cultural Exchange

September 21, 2011

This birthday greeting came from Murray in Carlsbad, California. Murray was one of our favorite couch surfing hosts during the Flight of the Nighthawk. He was never fully able to understand us with our Northern dialect and thick Canadian accents but he sure tried.

I’m not sure if they even celebrate birthdays in Canada or what strange rituals that might be involved if you do (I assume it includes a moose or large geese). The way we greet you from the US would be with a greeting such as “Happy birthday, Claire”, or “Best wishes on your birthday”, or something to that nature. We would probably eat an after-dinner delight such as this thing we call cake and a frozen treat called ice cream. That is your cultural exchange lesson for the day.

This was my reply:

It’s actually illegal to celebrate birthdays in Canada. I’m going to have to delete this message before sunset, lest the C.C.E.F.T (Canadian Commision to Eliminate Fun Things) catch wind of your well wishes. Some Canadians celebrate underground at illegal speakeasys, often disguised as karaoke bars. The C.C.E.F.T still allow karaoke bars because they’re not actually enjoyable. But I remember the days, back before the prohibition, when family and friends would gather around a set of moose antlers, light them on fire, and sing “Land of the Silver Birch” while the birthday celebrant would try and blow out the flames. Good times.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Jean permalink
    September 22, 2011 7:30 am


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