Last week my friend Eva (who is in my year club "Querencia") celebrated her 21st birthday, and as is a tradition for sorority/fraternity members, she celebrated it with a "21-Dinner". For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept, I will quickly explain the importants: when a young person turns 21 years old, he or she becomes financially independent from the parents, or at least for the law, and so he/she is law-wise the most adult-ish as it can get. To celebrate this milestone, the birthday is celebrated at the parents house with usually a sumptuous dinner, prepared by the parents, and the fellow year club members (or dispute members) are invited (and sometimes the high school friends too) so the parents can get to know their child's college friends. The guests show up looking fabulous (sometimes there is a specific dress code, and for this time it was all dresses), and they sit down at a neatly set table. After dinner, the party continues in a club in the birthday boy/girl's hometown, one that he/she used to go to as a teenager. For Eva's party we all went to Arnhem, and afterwards we spent the night at her parents' house.
Eva's 21-Dinner was particularly special to all of us, as it was the first one of many that will follow. We were all super excited and the evening exceeded our expectations by far! Eva had made perfect preparations, the food was so good, and everything - from the table to herself - looked beautiful!
What we had for dinner:
- Amuse-bouche: Surimi-salad
- Starter: Leek and broccoli cream soup
- Intermediate course: Salmon roll filled with cream cheese, horseradish and caviar
- Main course: Venison (the meat was from a deer her dad hunted down himself!) with cranberry sauce, haricot verts with bacon, pommes dûchesse, a stewed pear, and red cabbage
- Dessert: Red velvet cake
In between the courses, we (as the year club) had prepared some surprises for Eva. Me and Lies gave a speech about Eva and the way we have gotten to know her in the past 1,5 years, then we all sang a song that was written especially for her, then there was a special gift - a piece of jewelry with something year club-related engraved in it, and there was a photo album filled with pictures of us and her, plus letters from each one of us to her. A 21-Dinner is all about memories: not only the night itself is memorable, but also all the gifts she got were to remind her of us and her time as a college student when she's older.
Her parents had a surprise for her as well: they showed us all these adorable pictures of Eva when she was a child, and told us about the way they know Eva and what her life was like before she went to college. I found it very special to learn more about a friend and her background from her parents' perspective. And this is another aspect of what makes a 21-Dinner special: it's for your friends to learn about where you come from, and for your parents to learn what you've become. It's this very rare moment in which your past and your future cross each other for once. And this all contributes to a closer bond between all of us.
It may have been only the second time ever that we were completely together, so of course lots of group pictures were taken. A compilation of some pretty and and some crazy ones:
Seen before on Instagram @theblogeditor...
As many of my fellow year club members turn 21 this academic year, there will be many more 21-Dinners coming up...the next one being next month already! By now I consider 21-Dinners as the funnest sorority/fraternity tradition of all. I'm sure the following 21-Dinners will be just as joyous as was our first! Thank you Eva, I had a blast!
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