My mother used to cook traditional red rice (SEKIHAN) for my family member's birthday. It is made by steaming glutinous rice and boiled red beans which turn the rice red. This is a special celebratory dish for happy occasions. In addition, on birthdays, she cooks special dishes which the birthday celebrant likes. For example, Fried chicken, Japanese style omelette, potato salad and so on. They weren't so expensive to prepare but they were still very delicious. My mother didn’t give me presents except for her special birthday dishes but I was very happy.
My mother passed away 7 years ago. I didn’t celebrate my birthday because I thought I was too old to celebrate it like what we did before with my mother. Also, my father isn’t interested in any kind of celebration. My younger brother isn’t, either.
This year, however, I was given a special birthday present. It’s a long story. Last summer I found an interesting English article about yoga on the internet. I translated it into Japanese and then I posted it online. An editor of one yoga association newsletter found my translation and then selected it as an article for their newsletter.
Before the article was published, my yoga teacher helped me to improve my translation. He was strict regarding my translation as it was very literal and difficult to understand. Because English expression is very different from the Japanese one, I couldn’t translate it effectively
It was very difficult to translate precisely without understanding the writer’s opinion clearly. I realized I should understand the writer’s opinions and feelings clearly at first. And then, I must translate it not literally, so that readers can understand the writer’s opinion and emotions. I translated it again after I realized the important points of the translation. It was improved greatly. I was very happy because my translation became more understandable than before and I learned a lot.
I consider this learning experience as a special gift in time my birthday. It was just an ordinary birthday but now I believe that God had given me a very special birthday present.