IntegrationWhy many migrants are (re)born on 1 January
Today’s topic might have something to do with the fact that today someone in the Valeriana team is also celebrating their birthday. At the very least, this event (which may or may not occur today) has got us thinking about birthdays in general — and about whether it is really just a mere coincidence that so many members of the Valeriana family happen to celebrate their birthday on 1 January.
When it comes to birthdays, there is a whole range of different camps: Some fall into despair at the mere thought of the ever-increasing numbers of candles on their birthday cake. Others get so excited that their birthday turns into a birth week, while still others simply couldn’t care less. No matter which camp you belong to, one thing is for certain, and that is that we all have a birthday. Or do we?
There are many countries where births are still not officially registered or where birthdays simply aren’t important. As a result, many migrants arriving in Switzerland don’t know their birthdays — or at least it’s not recorded in their passports. Their age is therefore estimated and a date simply assigned. And this is almost always 1 January.
Even though such a birthday may not be a birthday in the traditional sense, it is still a very special day for many people trying to build a new life for themselves in Switzerland. It is a reminder of a hopeful and new beginning, a reminder that one now belongs to this society, where birthdays just happen to big a big deal. This is why we celebrate every birthday, no matter the date: by doing good for ourselves and others!
Speaking of doing good: Did you know that you can also gift Valeriana vouchers for our services? So, why not do something good for your favourite person andfor one of our team members? If interested, then just drop a message at firstname.lastname@example.org!