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Happy Birthday? You’re only born once! December 2, 2013

Posted by tetrahedron in Uncategorized.
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Though most individuals celebrate their birthdays with equal zeal and passion, the traditions involving their celebrations do differ according to their place of origin.

In Africa people celebrate the birth of a new born baby with immense enthusiasm. The Pygmies would sing out some popular birthday-songs dedicated to the child. According to traditions prevalent in Kenya, the mother of the new born takes the baby strapped to her back into a thorn enclosure where cattle are kept, where her husband, accompanied by some village elders, wait eagerly in order to confer a name upon the child.

The traditions in West Africa however, are a bit different from that observed in Kenya; after the baby is eight days old, the mother takes the new born for its first walk in this big world, and friends and family are duly invited on this occasion in order to introduce the new member to the rest of the family and friends.

Many other African nations celebrate their birthdays according to their unique traditions…for instance, many hold initiation ceremonies for groups of children instead of recognizing individual birthdays. When these children reach a certain designated age, such as nine through twelve, they are then entitled to learn the laws, beliefs, customs, songs and dances of their respective tribes. In other tribes, there are tests or initiation rites that they undergo.

For example, when Masai boys are around thirteen to seventeen years old, they undergo a two-stage initiation. Stage one lasts about three months. The boys leave their parents’ homes, paint their bodies white and are taught how to be warriors. When the state is completed, their heads are shaved and they may be circumcised. Stage two may last a few years. The young warriors grow their hair long and live in a camp called a “manyatta” where they practice hunting wild animals. When determined ready, they marry and become owners of large cattle herds, as did their fathers.

Girls are initiated too. At about fourteen to fifteen years of age, the older women of the tribe or village teach them the duties of marriage and how to care for their babies.
In many other cultures, though birthdays are celebrated or recognized, there are traditions associated with the celebrations that have some religious or spiritual significance, usually involving the food that is served; sometimes celebrations are held just for specific years, such as the 1st and 6th in China, as well as the 60th, or the 3rd, 5th and 7th in Japan.
In my research on this topic, what struck me was the lack of focus on the individual as is celebrated in Western (read: American) “culture”. Yes, other cultures give gifts and hold parties in honor of the “birthday” person, but the gifts and food have some meaning attached. Unfortunately, many of these countries have begun or already practice, the Western style birthday celebration.
The question I pose to you, dear reader is this: What did you do to get here?  The answer is simple: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!
Why then, does everyone make such a big deal out of “It’s my birthday!” and then expect everyone to heap all kinds of praise, attention and gifts upon them as if they accomplished some great deed? This is what’s wrong with this country! Self-aggrandizement, self-worship, self, self, self! Where in God’s word does he command you to celebrate your “birthday” especially when you are only born once!
What would be the spiritual and rightful celebration to recognize the womb that  co-created, carried and BORE you, for without her, YOU WOULDN’T BE HERE! Or better still, following the biblical significance of the number 3, you should recognize and celebrate your great-grandmother! Along with the matriarchal recognition, you should be giving honor and praise to your Heavenly Father, Allah, Yahweh,  Jehovah, or whatever name you call him by, for blessing you with the grace of living another year. You should be giving to and serving others in recognition of the fact that your Creator allowed you to see another year pass and pray that He keeps you in good health and prosperity for another year (even though we know the morrow is promised to no one).
We as a people born of the flesh, bone, fiber and ligament should get to know and understand more about our purpose, both spiritual and carnal..at some point this perpetual cycle of ignorance concerning connectivity to the most precious gift we have must be broken!
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