Yes, Laotians Celebrate Birthdays But Not Like That


What, you didn’t grow up celebrating your birthday with cake and egg rolls? Lao people aren’t what you would call a celebratory people in the sense of RSVPs, gift wrap or cards. You know you’re at a Laotian child’s birthday party when it starts out with cake and ends with an all-night gambling session. See? We celebrate birthdays but just not like that.

My mom’s birthday is on October 15. Now, don’t call me a bad daughter off the bat but she is going to make real pho this weekend and I couldn’t be more delighted. What, you didn’t grow up with your parent making food on their own birthday?

Yes, she’ll make the pho but she gets to spend it with her favorite grandson and favorite daughter. What more could she ask for, really? She does constantly drop hints on a pair of diamond earrings.

“Oh, Humnoy. When you Mommy and Daddy gone to buy Grandma diamond earring, hah?”

Do you remember your childhood birthday parties? What was your favorite age for a birthday?

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5 thoughts on “Yes, Laotians Celebrate Birthdays But Not Like That

  1. Hahahhahaha.. gotta love lao birthday party… it is an all day event.. some says, it is more of an excuse for adults to drink and gambling.

    Hhhhhhmmm.. I only remember one birthday my folks threw for me.. I must been around 12, I think… So, til these days.. I never expect anything for my birthday.. I might get one or two phone calls if that..

    • Phone calls are a special treat, in my opinion! That’s why I can’t stand Facebook birthday reminders: “So-and-so has their birthday today!” I can just send a text in the same amount of time and effort of writing it on Facebook.

      I had to share a birthday party with my younger, bratty cousin one year. She got her own cake and everything! I didn’t like her that much from then on. She stole my thunder but today she’s Humnoy’s Favorite Aunt. Hahaha.

  2. Pingback: My Lao Village: 20 People Who Helped Me Survive A(nother) Year of Parenting | The Laotian Commotion

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