Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sarah and Abraham

A very curious cultural habit of the Dutch is the celebration of 50 year old anniversary. Men are then named "Abraham" and women "Sarah". Family and friends make fun of the age passage decorating the outer side of the person's home with posters, banners and sometimes a giant doll dressed in old fashioned clothes (see picture below). It is so typical Dutch telling to the world outside that a child has succeeded in exams, the couple has had a baby boy/girl or that one of the house owners has met "Abaham/Sarah".

Um traço cultural estranhíssimo dos holandeses é como valorizam o aniversário de 50 anos das pessoas. Um homem ao fazer 50 anos é chamado de “Abraão” e a mulher de “Sara”. Também ridicularizam de forma humorística os aniversariantes colocando faixas e cartazes diante da casa, ou fotos da pessoa pelas ruas da vizinhança de onde mora . Acham engraçado, se divertem durante dias antes do acontecimento. As vezes colocam ate um boneco em frente a casa da pessoa, de óculos e barbicha branca. Eu hein ? Quero isso pra mim não !


Life Abroad said...

interesting! i've seen the decorations for passing school exams, but i've yet to see these 50 jaar decorations!

Pinay in Dutchland said...

ive yet to see this at the doors of people here, which is odd considering that most inhabitants in my community are old people.

thanks for sharing this info.

angela said...

What a fun celebration of making that age! Maybe that is more accurately mid-life at this point.

I also have to love the Abraham and Sara reference.

Anna said...

I've been wondering about the Dutch, how they otherwise are such modest people, but love to announce all passers-by of the birth of their children, grandchildren, the kids' educational achievements and those birthday celebrations... So very American, somehow. And odd. It makes me think of how they also love to have "parade entrances", with a low-fenced or fenceless front garden, and low-set, large and always uncurtained livingroom windows facing the street.

Anonymous said...

@ Anna: so we can keep our nosy eyes on the neighbours :P

Jk, we just like the openness I suppose. Also most neighborhoods have 2 or 3 rows of houses facing each other around parking spots or patches of grass, which give a very communal feel and invites to opening your curtains.

Greets, Annique