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Mistress Marilyn's POV
No shit, Tempus Fugit!
Happy Birthday! 
1st-Jan-2010 02:25 pm
bday : charliemc
Last week Charlie and I managed to celebrate our friend Shari's birthday for the first time in three years. Two years ago she turned 50, and we never found the time to get together, and last year we were all snowed in for a couple weeks here in Portland. So, finally, we memorialized all three birthdays in one.

I read today that 11,000 of the 80,000 refugees relocated to the U.S. this past year have January 1 -- *TODAY* -- as their birthdays. The date was given arbitrarily to people who came from cultures that didn't have ways or means of keeping records or simply didn't consider birthdays as significant events. Many were born in refugee camps or in war zones, or were born at home without birth certificates. Since date-of-birth is such an important concept in this country, these people were assigned January 1 and their actual ages were estimated.

Many came from poverty we can't imagine, so the thought of celebrating a birthday with a party or gifts was just as unimaginable to them.

These people came from Laos or Ethiopia, from Burma or the Sudan.

So, after a year where I missed nearly every one of my flisters' birthdays, I want to virtually acknowledge the thousands that for the first time today are having a birthday. I hope the shared experience, along with the significance of New Year's Day, make for a happy event for them.

Note: UNICEF is working to improve birth records in developing countries and deserves support. Having a valid birthdate helps ensure protection from underage military service and helps improve access to education and health care.

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1st-Jan-2010 11:10 pm (UTC)
Very interesting post for the New Year!!

thanks for it :)

2nd-Jan-2010 12:09 am (UTC)
This is AMAZING! (What a cool entry, M.)

Imagine. We take it for granted, knowing not only the day, but the HOUR of our birth. I can't believe it. (And we talk about how people in other time periods didn't celebrate birthdays! Little did we know...)

UNICEF has always rocked it, and they continue to. Totally worth supporting...

And, YES, I'm very glad we finally saw Shari this year for her bday! About time.
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