Posted by: Simon & Becci | August 26, 2011

When to throw flowers at a one year old

The entrance to the party marquee

This week we had our first experience of a Cambodian party. Our landlady (who lives 2 houses away from us) invited us to the birthday party of her one year great-niece which was being held in the yard outside her house. We had realised a party of some sort was being planned as earlier in the day a large colourful marquee had appeared and a couple of PA speakers were being tested very loudly. These marquees regularly pop up anywhere and everywhere across the city, including in the middle of roads, especially for weddings.

Getting ready to through some flowers

The party was unlike any first birthday party I’ve ever been to. 80 Cambodians and 2 very white English people gathered around various tables to eat a seemingly endless array of courses (including fish, noodles, duck, tom yam soup, eel and raw(!) beef) and constantly toast one another and the birthday girl. After the meal we joined in a chorus of “Happy Birthday” whilst waving sparklers, before everyone threw handfuls of flowers at the poor child, who was also covered in foam and silly string. No pass the parcel anywhere in sight……

And the flowers are thrown at the birthday girl....

22 people and numerous motorbikes in our front room

Earlier in the week we had also hosted our own”party” of sorts as a team of eight people from a newfrontiers church in Oregon, USA, came to visit our Sunday morning service. We invited them, our core team and their families back to our house for lunch (22 people in all). It was great to express church family with others from across the world and we had an excellent time worshipping and praying together in the afternoon. I then accompanied the American team to the nearby “Russian Market” (the place to go to buy gifts to take home) and spent a happy hour acting as their guide and negotiator-in-chief. It suddenly dawned on me that I was turning into Midge Smith (who did this for us when we first visited) which is no bad thing!




  1. How were the team at making decisions compared to your first experience in the Russian Market Mr B…? The party looks like much fun – maybe Starley House will be covered in petals after the next birthday party held there. Much love to you both Family Byles x

  2. wow!! I’m getting some ideas for Joseph’s second birthday next year…xx

  3. Hello Browns! Good to see some of your photos, sounds like you’re really settling in well now. Although it sounds a bit odd, for some reason I imagine Simon quite enjoyed the randomness of throwing flowers at the birthday girl! I’ll try it with Hannah next year and see how it goes, haha.

    Getting ready for the start of term here now, ready for the enjoyable chaos of studentdom to descend!

    Love you guys, God bless!
    The Harrisons xx

  4. Really interesting! Love the Roystons x

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