In true Indonesian fashion, Harrison received an invitation from our lovely neighbour at 1pm, for a birthday party at 4pm that same day – this is normal.
It was in honour of Prince who recently turned 9 and little Ticia’s (Justicia) who turned 5 in July.
The party actually started out in our Villa with the kids gathering to play Mario Bros on the Nintendo Wii. As a gesture, their mother delivered a pizza to my house to enjoy whilst entertaining the kids; bless her.
By 4.30pm, guests started arriving and the party diverted outdoors under several marquees. The afternoon kicked off with singing and party games. In one game, a group of children separated by gender, had to hold a straw in their mouth and pass a rubber band along with the straw and place it on a chair at the end of the line. The girls managed 5 rubber bands to the boys 1 – sorry lads! The birthday child then hands the winners their prize and they shake hands.
After a little more singing and the birthday prayer (all in Bahasa!) we were able to indulge in a massive buffet dinner! This family does not do anything in halves – there were two long tables full of Manadonese dishes, cakes and traditional desserts. I was in food heaven, until my stomach said “Hey, that’s enough!” after only 3 of the 20 or so various dishes.
Children’s birthday parties are a wonderful experience in Manado and a chance for the families to really celebrate their child’s birthday – in style! There was a professional photographer and a videographer and, an MC including his female back up singer.
Each attending child received a souvenir pack with what had to be the BEST souvenir gift Harrison has received since living here. The parents also received a goodie bag filled with chocolates, biscuits and various other food items.
The party ended (for us anyway) at 8pm however the music continued well into the night with a mix of singing by the MC and broken karaoke by guests. For me, this is no problem as I have a steady supply of earplugs in my bedside drawer – since parties are a common occurrence in our complex.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Prince and Ticia (Justicia) – may you have many more blessed birthdays! Thank you for having us join in on your special celebration.
PS – Sorry for the blurry BlackBerry photos – Jason took my (our) camera to work this week!