Here are two (2) important things you need to know this month:
- Everything in the Dominican Republic is extravagantly dramatic.
- November is my birth month.
Let us begin with point 1. One thing I love about the DR is how its society likes to celebrate so many holidays of their own, as well as adopt other nations’ holidays and celebrate them as their own. For their own holidays and special occasions, nobody works and everybody parties. For external cultural holidays, everybody parties at work. At least that was my experience. It was impossible to try to get things done on a day such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Valentine’s Day. Of course, when I mentioned Cinco de Mayo, everyone expected a party from me on that day and were severely disappointed when I didn’t bring everyone tacos and margaritas.
Lastly, birthdays. To have a birthday in the Dominican is one of the most dramatic things that can happen to an American. To have a birthday in the Dominican is like you’ve never had a birthday before in your life, and suddenly, you have one and everyone is severely excited and surprised and delighted by it. Every. Year. I was nervous, my first birthday in the DR, because I thought it would be treated as just any other boring day. I had been accustomed to having very special birthdays surrounded by friends and family and turkey every year of my life. Therefore, considering that Osiris was my only friend and family, and we both had to work separate schedules, I was looking forward to being bummed.
However, on that morning, Osiris surprised me with fireworks (inside the house at my bedside) and breakfast. I’m pretty sure he accompanied me all the way to work, where EVERYONE AND THEIR MOTHER seemed to know it was my birthday. I was celebrated and sung to literally EVERY. HOUR. OF. THE. DAY. I was given cake after cake and candy after candy and tostito’s hot sauce. (Dominicans, in general, are also very stereotypical.) I was paraded with signs and balloons and cheers. Of course, the best moment of all was when Osiris showed up on his way to work to surprise me with flowers, and that heralded another medley of birthday tunes, and more cake. (I’m not sure where the cake kept coming from. It’s like they kept it in their pockets ready for any celebratory occasion.)
My Dominican Birthdays changed my life.
With that said, November is “Celebrate Everything” month.
Also, with that said, Amurrica, you have some big shoes to fill. I expect to be disappointed. 😉
Also, with that said, I’m really scared that there are a ton of fireworks in our closet right now.
Living in the Dominican had its hard moments…. Very, very difficult moments. But there were so many amazing memories that were made during that period in my life, and I’m sooooo glad I lived them. I’m also glad I brought my own Dominican back with me and we get to create our own culture together with the best parts of every culture we’ve been exposed to. Our future children will be a very confused people.