This is the last post in the mini-series: Strange Dutch Celebrations.
(Just in case you missed the other posts: Seeing Abraham & Sarah (Turning 50 in the Netherlands) and The 12 and a half year wedding anniversary.)
From these previous posts, we learned that Dutch people are a bit barmy when it comes to celebrating birthdays and anniversaries… So what happens when they have a baby?
Well, my dear readers… you’re in for a treat! It’s about to get a whole lot weirder.
Back home, in England, when someone has a baby… they will probably call their Mum… and then after a few days, the (hopefully) happy couple will get in touch with other friends and family to announce their new arrival. Some people plaster the event all over Facebook. Their choice.
You just announce it to the whole street! With coloured banners, bunting, balloons etc (blue for a boy, pink for a girl) possibly a stork… and any other baby related paraphernalia you can think of.
Situation changed! It sure has!!
Then comes the baby announcement card aka the Geboortekaartje.
Organised parents-to-be will have already selected the card design and the baby name, so when their little bundle of joy arrives… all they have to do is fill in the date, time and weight at birth. Oh and because they’re Dutch = the baby’s length! A very important detail!
The geboortekaartje (literally: birth card) is something we Brits could definitely learn from the Dutch! All the vital statistics, on one piece of card – it’s so handy! (Especially if you’re like me: terrible with remembering birthdays and suchlike!)
So. You’ve got your card – which means you’re part of the inner circle. Now to visit the little pipsqueak.
Brace yourselves for the worst part.
Even worse than holding a brand new, tiny baby and thinking the whole time: “Shit… what if I drop it!?”
You need to eat a rusk with butter and aniseed balls on top.
I’m not a baby. I don’t eat rusk. I especially don’t eat rusk with butter! I especially, especially don’t eat rusk with butter and ANISEED BALLS!!
Yet, it’s a Dutch custom… so when a baby is born, you’ve got to do it.
Beschuit met muisjes (literally: rusk with little mice, real meaning: rusk with aniseed balls) come in three types. White and blue balls for a boy. White and pink balls for a girl. And white and orange balls when a new member of the Royal family is born!
Are you looking forward to geboortekaartjes dropping through your letterbox!? Wahahahaha!!