The only birthday party in life
  • | | December 26, 2010 06:26 AM

Parents of Ro Ngao ethnic minority people hold an one-off birthday party for their children in life to show their love for them.

Birthday of Rinh Rang held like a wedding party
Wine prepared for a birthday party
A Tan and his farther, A Dut

On these days, Ro Ngao people in Tu Peng Village, Po Co Commune, Dak To District, Kon Tum Province, are living with great joy. Every corner of the village is full of smiles and music for children’s birthdays.

Village Patriarch, A Hanh said, “The birthday of local people is not necessarily on their date of birth, but on any day as long as before they get married.”

Therefore, they attach much importance to the event which is held largely as a wedding party. However, the difference is that no ceremony is applied in the birthday party, and people only attend it to eat, drink and dance comfortably.

According to Ro Ngao beliefs, organising birthday parties is for the parents to express love for their children, therefore, the bigger the parties are, the more love parents can show to their children. Parents who do not hold such parties are said not to love their children.

Before the birthday, parents have to prepare money and wine jars like a wedding party. Many families which have difficult economic circumstances have to save money for several years to hold birthday parties. Due to the old custom, families which have many children and cannot afford to launch the birthday parties will be criticised that “they do not love their children”.

The economic factor of the birthday parties is the most important to measure love, thus, the parties often take place after harvests when they have cassava for making Can wine and money from selling agricultural products.

To hold a big birthday for A Tan, a boy just over one years old, his parents had to save for nearly one year.

Before the party, A Tan’s mother, Y Den, had to cook 40 cassava wine jars, which took a month, and then bought food for the whole village to eat for two days. The couple also bought five big pots, 40 jars and had nearly ten relatives to cook dishes.

Music is also indispensable to a birthday party with performance of live music bands, piano and singers. “We love my son very much, so, we hold a birthday party for him. We invited relatives from the morning to the afternoon and then villagers in the evening and the next day,” Mrs Den said with pride.

Guests bring different things to the party, depending on their economic condition. Some contribute wine and food; others give money and poor people have nothing. “I see that they love their son and I have a little bit of money to buy clothes for A Tan. Parents who do not organise a birthday for their children will be criticised that they do not love their children,” a person who came to A Tan’s party shared.

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