Just a quick one while I can still remember what's in my head...
It's a colleague's birthday today, and as she was walking around giving muffins to everyone in the office, I couldn't help thinking of how it's completely the opposite in Malaysia.
In NL, when it's your birthday, you are the one who brings goodies for everyone and goes around getting wished "Gefeliciteerd!".
In Malaysia, you come into the office (or wherever), and people come to wish you "Happy Birthday!" instead, and probably bring you out to lunch that day, some closer colleagues even buying you a present.
In one situation, you are making everyone else happy, and in the other, everyone else is making you happy.
Got me wondering why the Dutch have to work so hard on their birthdays, when the rest of the year, they're pretty self-centred and individualistic.
And then I realised that perhaps that's how it works...
In NL, 364 days of the year, you are being self-centred and taking care of number one. So when it is your birthday, you give back and be a nice, giving person, making everyone around you feel special for once.
In Malaysia, however, you spend so much time belonging to the group and (usually) giving in to the group's majority decision, that when it's your birthday, the group gives back to you and makes you feel like the only one that counts.
I kinda like that everything balances out in the end :)