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Birthday Traditions | जन्मदिन की परंपराएँ Posted by on Aug 26, 2018 in Uncategorized

जन्मदिन मुबारक हो!

Around the world, people celebrate birthdays with gusto, and India is no exception. Although the idea of celebrating an individual’s birthday with a party and cake is, more or less, a Western concept, as India has become more Westernized, it has also become de rigueur for children and adults alike to expect some extra attention on their birthdays. Here are some words and phrases that will help you celebrate your friend, coworker or family member’s special day!

शब्द और वाक्य जो जन्मदिन मनाने के लिए उचित हैं  

Words and Phrases Appropriate for Celebrating a Birthday   


अवसर/avsar (masc. noun): occasion.

तुम्हारे जन्मदिन के अवसर पर, सभी ऑफ़िस (दफ़्तर) वाले तुम्हारे घर जाके पूरी रात मनायेंगे । 

(All of the office workers (people in the office) will go to your house and celebrate all night long on the occasion of your birthday).


उपहार/uphaar (masc. noun) or तोहफ़ा/tohfaa (masc. noun): present, gift.

उपहार/तोहफ़े के लिए आपका बहुत धन्यवाद; बहुत ही पसंद आया!

(Thank you so much for the gift; I like it a lot!)

Image by Kevin Briody on Flickr, licensed under CC BY 2.0.


दावत/daavat (fem. noun): feast, party.

उसने मेरे सिवाय अपने सारे दोस्तों को जन्मदिन की दावत पर बुलाया ।

(He invited all of his friends to his birthday party, except me).


पड़ना/parnaa (intrans. verb): to fall.

इस साल, मेरा जन्मदिन बुधवार को पड़ता है – तो, मैं सोच रहा था, उस दिन क्यों न काम से छु्ट्टी लूँ ? ।

(This year, my birthday falls on a Wednesday so, I was thinking, why not take the day off work?)


बधाई/badhaai (fem. noun): congratulations.

आपके जन्मदिन की मेरी हार्दिक बधाई स्वीकार कीजिए ।

(Please accept my heartfelt congratulations on your birthday).


मोमबत्ती/mombatti (fem. noun): candle.

जन्मदिन के केक पर रंगीन मोमबत्तियाँ टिमटिमाती हुई और उसके पास ही एक बच्चे का चेहरा मुसकुराता हुआ – बहुत कम दृश्य है जो इस से ज़्यादा खुशी भरा है ।

(Colorful/multicolored candles flickering on a birthday cake and a child’s face smiling nearby – there are few scenes/visions that are more joyful than this).

Image by Jessica Diamond on Flickr, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.


केक खिलाना/cake khilaanaa (verb): to feed someone cake.

इंडिया में, बहुत आम बात है कि तुम्हें अपने जन्मदिन पर पहले ही दूसरों को केक के छोटे छोटे टुकड़े खिलाने हैं; उस के बाद ही, दूसरे तुम्हीं को केक खिलायेंगे ।

(In India, it’s very common for you, on your birthday, to feed others small pieces of cake first; only after this, others will feed you cake).


आरती उतारना/aarti utaarnaa (verb): to perform the Hindu ceremony of “aarti”

(that is, placing दिये/diye or small clay lamps on a थाली/thaali or silver plate and moving them in circles in front of someone to bless and honor them, especially on an important occasion; significantly, also a ceremony performed when worshipping a god or goddess).

आपके जन्मदिन पर या किसी भी शुभ अवसर पर आपके रिश्तेदार आपका सम्मान करने और आपको आशीर्वाद देने के लिए आरती उतार देंगे ।

(On your birthday or on any auspicious occasion, your relatives will perform aarti to honor and bless you).

Image by carrotmadman6 on Flickr, licensed under CC BY 2.0.


उम्र/umra (fem. noun): year. 

कहा जाता है कि असल में, उम्र का कोई मतलब और महत्त्व नहीं है – आप जितने भी बड़े हैं, फिर भी आप अपने दिल में हमेशा जवान रह सकते हैं ।

It’s said that, in fact, age has no meaning or significance – no matter how old you are, you can remain young forever in your heart.


नज़र उतारना/nazar utaarnaa (verb): to remove the effects of the evil eye

(that is, a belief that, for example, when something good happens to someone, such as a birthday celebration or other auspicious event, others will look on with envy and, to avoid anything negative occurring due to this envy, others’ “evil eye,” so to speak, must be removed and/or guarded against).

कुछ लोग मानते हैं कि नज़र उतारना बहुत अहम बात है – खासकर के जब एक ह्रष्ट पुष्ट बच्चा पैदा हो जाता है या बहुत खूबसूरत जोड़ी की शादी हो जाती है, दूसरे उनके खुशनसीब और सुन्दरता की वजह से उन्हें बूरी नज़र से देखेंगे ।

(Some people believe that removing the evil eye is very important, especially when a healthy baby is born or a good-looking couple gets married, others may look at them with the evil eye because of their good fortune and beauty).

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About the Author:Rachael

नमस्ते, मेरा नाम रेचल है/السلام علیکم، میرا نام ریچل ہے۔ Hello, my name is Rachael, but I also on occasion go by Richa––an interesting story for another time :) My two great loves are Hindi and Urdu. I first traveled to India (Jaipur, Rajasthan) in college on a Hindi study abroad program. A little over a year later, I returned to the same city to study Hindi in a yearlong program. I've also spent a summer in Kolkata, West Bengal learning Bengali, and I studied Urdu at the University of California, Berkeley, where I was a graduate student in South Asian Studies. I hope to share with you the fascinating world of Hindi and Urdu literature, society, culture and film through my blogs!


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