I guess in the scheme of things I understand why the concept of celebration is so strong here, weddings, funerals, and birthdays....college entrance exams too. Celebrating is the way to go.
Maybe because next to the Ambassador, I am the next oldest person in the entire Academy...with probably 20 years between me and the next oldest person...so at some point the magnitude of birthdays might lose some glitter or being not with your family, friends or familiar surroundings just diminish the celebration for me.
But let me tell you...the birthday parties at ADA are considered a serious affair. This is how it works:
1) HR manager send an email announcing an upcoming birthday and asking for 5-10 mants (which is $7.25 -$12.00) per person.
2) You are instructed to bring the money to her office. I usually have been giving 5 manats.
3) If you don't make the trip to her office, later that same day or the next...an intern appears at your door with the list of all employees asking for your money.
4) Last week, since I had not been paid, I only gave 3 manats....later the HR manager came to me, saying "what's wrong you usually give 5"
5) The party includes a rather tasty but caloric laden fancy sheet cake and a gift (men get shirts, ties, and/or belts) and women (jewerly, necklace, ear rings, or crystal)...
6) Can I avoid the birthday thang!