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October 6th, 2011 at 5:01 am

Celebrating Bicultural Birthdays

Both my children were born in the summer. which means we get to celebrate their birthdays in our backyard in an effort to enjoy the gorgeous weather. A few weeks ago, we celebrated my son’s birthday who was born the last day of August. That got me thinking about the way we celebrate bicultural birthdays.

Not sure if this is the case for all children growing up bilingual and bicultural like mine, but we have a sort of tradition when it comes time to singing Happy Birthday because besides the English version of this song, both my husband and I have our own versions in Spanish.

So, although we begin with Happy Birthday, we’ve made it a point to teach our children the following versions which are the ones we sang growing up in Peru (myself) and in Puerto Rico (my husband). In case you don’t know what they are, I figured I’d share them with you here. The reality is that within Latin America there are a lot of different versions sang during birthdays. Some don’t even sound like the English version, as is the case with my husband’s version.

Peruvian version (to the beat of Happy Birthday)

Cumpleaños feliz,

te deseamos a ti,

cumpleaños (name of child),

qué los cumplas feliz!

Puerto Rico’s version (to a completely different beat):

Feliz, feliz en tu día

amiguito, que Dios te bendiga

que reine la paz en tu vida

y que cumplas muchos más

Sometimes the whole thing can get a bit long, especially if we add the Mexican version or Las Mañanitas, which we often do because we like to sing the versions of all those present at the party and since our friends tend to be from all over Latin America, you can imagine…

What traditions do you have when it comes to birthdays?

Credit: AndrewEick

Roxana A. Soto is the Editorial Director of SpanglishBaby and she also writes for Moms Clean Air ForcePulso VerdeNew Futuro and Fox News Latino



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