Dutch Language Blog

My New Verjaardagskalender Posted by on Jan 7, 2010 in Dutch Language

The Dutch birthday is a very important event. In order to remember all those birthdays for all your family, friends, coworkers, acquaintances and pets, the Dutch have this thing called a “Verjaardagskalender“. This is a special calendar that doesn’t list the days of the week or the year, but rather the month and the date. On the little lines you can write down the birthdays for everyone you know or may have sat next to once on the bus. No really, birthdays are almost that important here, and it’s a bit of a social faux pas to forget them.

The most special thing about the verjaardagskalender is that it must go in the most important room in your house, for all to see. Obviously, this place must be some sort of throne… Hence, in all Dutch homes, your verjaardagskalender must find it’s place in the w.c.

Yes really, it must go there. If you truly want to feel like a Dutch person, you simply must place your verjaardagskalender in the w.c. so you may always remember your loved one’s birthdays during your most important moments of the day. This is how you show them that you love them.

My home had been lacking a verjaardagskalender for the last year and a half. Perhaps all of our Dutch acquaintances and friends felt slighted when they went to use the w.c. and it was tragically lacking this fundamental display of birthday importance. And so my mother-in-law purchased me a verjaardagskalender for Christmas. This is how all of our Dutch friends will know how much we care.

And there he hangs in our w.c. for all to see and I am one small step more integrated into Dutch culture. The only problem that remains is that he is empty, and I have no idea when people’s birthdays are!

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