Here in Mexico Birthdays are like Holidays - festival required. We have a lot of people here in Chino's family and end up having a birthday party at least 2-3 times a month. One of the things I've come to learn about the birthday traditions, something that happens at EVERY birthday party no matter your age, is the cake tradition.
If it's your birthday you will have your face smashed into your cake. No exceptions.
It cracks me up because even though we have a birthday party a few times a month and though everyone knows what's going to happen - every time - it's always such a big hit. We sing the birthday song and then someone starts to chant "Mor-di-ta, Mor-di-ta!" (Little bite) The cameras are readied, everyone gets giddy and starts giggling and the person in front of the cake tries their best for a couple of minutes to try and take a small bite of cake without having someone from behind them smash their face into the cake.
I've only seen 1.5 birthdays in over a year where someone got out of it. The .5 was about a month ago - the little boy to the right. This smart lil cousin took a super-speed bite of the cake before the first chanter got to the "di" in "Mor-di-ta." It was hilarious, everyone went completely silent because they were stunned and didn't know what to do.
Smart little punk, everyone snapped back after a second and got back to laughing, congratulating him on being intelligent and watched as his sister grabbed a chunk of cake with her hand and smeared it all over his face anyway. Nice try.
The only true get-a-way was last week when Chino's Dad had his birthday party. He's pretty frail and turned 72 so after the 5th try or so of trying half-strength to push his head down they let him be, I thought it was sweet. :)
Luckily for me? Last year they didn't know my birthdate yet and Chino didn't do a family party and THIS year his Dad had just moved here and it turned out his birthday is the same exact day as mine - AND - Chino thought mine was the next day, (idiot) so I was forgot about. Was I pissy or sad or hurt? HELL NO ! ! AAHAHAHAHHAH I'm shy and haaaaattteee having the birthday song sung to me and have been dreading having to go through the cake-smashing-ritual ever since last year when I got away with it the first time.
His family felt all weird and freaked out for forgetting about me - and verbally abused Chino for mixing up the the days, but I was happy as a clam. I have a feeling next year I'll have hell to pay but we'll just see. Wish me luck. :P