You could say that for everyone there is one important day every year, the birthday. The Dutch think the exact same thing. Next to your own birthday being important, the birthdays of others might be considered just as important. That is why it would be an embarrassment if you were to forget one of your family member’s, friend’s or neighbour’s birthday. Although it has become easier to remember birthdays with the help of social networks like Facebook, the Dutch have developed quite an interesting way to help them remember these birthdays: The birthday calendar.
I hear you thinking – the birthday calendar is not something specifically Dutch, right? And that is true, it is not the product itself that is interesting. It is the location where they put it. This location is the most logical place to put a calendar – yes people, the Dutch put their birthday calendar in the toilet. This way they can easily consult their calendar and in the meantime just do their business. The bonus is that it is solely for birthdays and it is usually an everlasting calendar, meaning that you can use it year after year until you replace it with new one because some people are not worth being on your calendar anymore.
But be careful, whenever you would visit a Dutch person’s house, never and that means never, put your own name on the calendar. It is considered very offensive. But take that moment to realize that maybe you are not as close to the person as you thought you were.