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cultural difference 24: birthdays

May 20, 2010

I already pointed out that it’s considered bad luck in Germany to wish someone “happy birthday” before the actual birthday.

I think I found another difference: In Germany, the birthday girl or boy is often expected to bring a cake to work, while in the US, the cake is provided to the person having the birthday. In Germany, the person whose birthday it is also often pays for the party, not her or his friends.

The big birthdays here are the 18th (not the 21st, because in Germany, you’re considered an adult and can get your driver’s license at 18) and all the big O birthdays (20, 30, 40, 50…).

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