I love summer. It's the time both my children were born. In about a month, we'll be celebrating my daughter's 6th birthday. And a month later, it'll be her brother's turn. He turns 3 at the end of August. Since we've always celebrated their birthdays in our backyard, we don't have a huge party. But all the parties we've had have always reflected our bicultural way of life.

What does that mean? Well, simply put, we incorporate the best of both our worlds and we have a blast! One of my favorite parts is when the time comes to sign Happy Birthday because in my household it's not only sang in two languages, but also in its many versions. 

We normally get started with Happy Birthday and then we move on to the version I used to sing in Spanish growing up in Peru, which goes something like this:

Cumpleaños feliz,

te deseamos a ti,

cumpleaños (name of child),

qué los cumplas feliz!

We then move on to the song Puerto Ricans sign on birthdays (which is also the same song the Spanish sing). That one is super sweet and it goes like this:

Feliz, feliz en tu día

amiguito, que Dios te bendiga

que reine la paz en tu vida

y que cumplas muchos más

Although we're not Mexican, half of my family on my mom's side has been living in Mexico for decades and so to honor my connection to that beautiful country, we almost always sing Las Mañanitas:

Estas son las mañanitas que cantaba el Rey David

a las muchachas bonitas se las cantamos así,

Despierta mi bien, despierta. Mira ya que ya ameneció

Ya los pajaritos cantan, la luna ya se metió

Which birthday song do you sing at home? Leave us a comment with your answer. 

Image via Jökull Sólberg Auðunsson/flickr

About the author

Roxana A. Soto is Features Editor of MamásLatinas. She's a bilingual and bicultural journalist born in Peru and raised in Mexico, Argentina, South Africa and Miami. She's also mom to a girl in 3rd grade and a boy in Kinder. She loves books, languages, traveling and good food – especially when cooked by someone else.

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