If someone has a birthday in Japan, people will organize a big party for them. Secretly, each guest may buy a gift, or they may buy a big gift together. The one who celebrates a birthday will not pay. This is the common style in Japan. I thought this was common everywhere in the world. However it is not.
When I was in the Philippines, I had my birthday. I ate out with a few people on the day. I was enjoying it until I paid for it all. In my mind, I was like “Am I a walking ATM?”. Later I heard that the will treat all people in the Philippines. Now I understand what happened to me. It is a normal thing there and it is just a cultural difference. But my honest thought on this style is that “which part is happy? It is just an unhappy birthday.”. Also, I heard that some people don’t organize parties because they don’t want to pay. I, as a cheap person, can totally understand their feelings.
I don’t know which style is more common in the world. As far as I know, people in Serbia and China do in the same way as Filipinos do. (Maybe the Philippines got the style from China because culturally, the Philippines has been influenced by China.)
I’m very open-minded about other cultures and I do respect other cultures. If someone from the Philippines, Serbia or China has their birthday, I will celebrate it with their style and say “let’s go to a restaurant and treat me!!”.
At last, let me write about my birthday experience in Japan. My friends held me a birthday party. Someone said he will treat me. So, I only had a little money at the day. But he din’t pay and I even lent my money. My wallet was empty, which upset me. According to my friends, I was drunk and acted like a kid at the time. After the party, I was headed for my friend’s house with him and a few other friends. I was so drunk that I was stumbling on the train. Maybe a lady thought I was going to lean on her and slapped my face. I just remembered the sound. The next day, I said to some classmates “My birthday gift was a slap.”.