At Nania_Child's Birthday

At Nania, we emphasize the importance of each child’s birthday. We focus the whole morning on the birthday child’s celebration. The birthday child’s mother (sometimes also father) normally joins the celebration. The children start preparing to bake the birthday cake first thing in the morning, from 9.00 am. There will be about 7 or 8 children, i.e. the birthday child, the angel children and friends. They wear aprons around the baking table and begin from cracking eggs to mixing them, sieve flour and mix in butter and sugar. The 5-6 years old do most of the activity by themselves whilst the 3-4 years old do with the help of a teacher and their older classmates.

After preparing the cake, the children set the tables while the cake is baking in the oven. They also collect garden flowers and leaves to decorate the cake. At snack time when everybody is gathered in the dining hall, the cake is taken from the oven for the birthday child to decorate with icing sugar and bananas. We then light candles on the cake and sing a birthday song in English and Chinese. The birthday child will bring some cake back home for family and siblings who cannot attend.

After snack the children gather in a circle in the classroom for a birthday story. The birthday child and angel children enter the classroom wearing crowns accompanied by the sound of a Lyre. The teacher tells the child’s story one year at a time as she lights a candle for each year. The story is prepared from the parents’ input.

The child’s story is told with an introduction of his/her journey from the spiritual to an earthly world. The spirit child travels through the cosmos with a guardian angel. Arriving at a big door, the spirit child peeps through a tiny hole in the door. He/she sees many things on Earth and finds his/her parents. The child asks, “Can you be my father and my mother?” They answer, “Of course, please come down now”. As the spirit child prepares to descend, the guardian angel tells him/her he will keep his/her heaven clothes until he/she comes back through this door again. The door then opens and the child is born. Although the child cannot see his/her guardian angel anymore he is always around protecting him/her.

The story coveys the picture humans as soul entities travel the spiritual world seeking a suitable physical body to be born on Earth. In asking, “Can you be my Father and Mother?” the spirit child chooses his/her parents. The child’s choice of parents’ scenario implies an understanding of a right set of parents, underlining a special relationship specific to the child’s life task or destiny to be fulfilled in his/her life on Earth. That a child comes through a parent to live his/her own destiny is different to the picture the child comes from the parent without an agenda.

Thinking children comes from them, parents sometimes treat children as property to be protected, trained and managed. At Nania, we work with the picture each child has his/her own life task and destiny. That development education means recognising and respecting children’s individuality and encouraging them to grow through their own difficulties. When we overcoming challenges through our own effort, the fruit of learning is greater.

Besides a collection of class drawings, the birthday child receives a gnome and gnome’s bag present with seed, shell, crystal and stones. They represent friends from nature. The birthday celebration at Nania seem to remain in some children’s hearts deeply. Some still talk about their birthday celebration years after their graduation. Each individual life has enormous value. Celebrating each birthday with significance and love affirms meaning to their life.


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