Birthday Celebrations 


By Prof R. A. Ipinyomi, University of Ilorin, Nigeria 

The Birthday Celebration has  become  a single most celebrated event worldwide in our lives. About 19 millions  have their birthdays  every day given the world population of over 7 billion people currently, and still increasing.. Even where only a quarter of these will celebrate, or mark their birthdays, that will still be millions of celebrations everyday. Hence birthday celebration is a big business to tap into by the designers, artists,  entertainers, etc.

Personally I have taken it as my daily  routine to send a birthday wish to everyone who let us know their birthday on the social media like Facebook and others. Many hide their birthdays, but some of those who hide also celebrate it big. Many hide the year of birth, many others for one reason or another don’t know their real birthday. They are free to choose a date as their birthday. There are a million reasons why a child may not know his or her true birthday; This is different from falsehoods or being fraudulence with birthdays.

Finding the right expressions to send best wishes for birthday is a big task everyday for me. But we can now find many quotes and sayings to wish a happy birthday for a brother or sister, for a special lady or man,  a mother or father, best wishes to friends, etc. Yet individuals are unique and uniquely interrelated to us.. Some organisations have devoted their times and resources to compile such.

Today, being my own official birthday, I have learned a lot from my friends, colleagues,  past and current students, neighbours, relations. At every occasion and everytime  one special greeting usually matters, that from your spouse or a special friend. I eventually got it today. She said she was assuming I would have known that she was looking for a right moment. A lady you married and lived with for close to 39 years still have surprises in her sleeves, even on your birthday? 

I received greetings and well  wishes from a little over 500 as at 4 pm today. What this means is to confirm that Birthday Celebrations are popular events and people like them and are participating in the events. But what more does it really mean? Does it mean we are dieing by the day or that we are actually living?  I think is more of subtraction than addition to life. So next time when someone sends a birthday greeting to you,  remember that you are being told of a minus one (-1) rather than a pulse one (+1). 

I may not be able to specifically thank you individually, but please note that we are all students and learning from our common experiences.  We should be able to model our lives and events rather than allowing circumstances around us to do so. After all it is only the birthdays we have celebrated that have been ours by grace.  Any birthday could possibly be the last.