There are several reasons a birthday could lead to trouble. Let’s think of a few:
- Party is too loud.
- Underage drinking.
- Drinking and driving.
- Stolen presents.
- Over-the-top antics prompted by too much birthday fun.
- Rioting when your birthday invitation goes viral (yep, that happened).
- Pulling out a gun when people don’t sing your girlfriend happy birthday (yep, that happened too).
- Celebrating your birthday with a dozen or so friends in an Irish pub.
Uhm? What?! Yep, that last one happened in Tajikistan this year, and the birthday boy was fined the equivalent of four months pay!
According to The Daily Mail (Kate Pickles reporting – tee hee — Pickles), it’s against the law in Tajikistan to celebrate your birthday outside of the home with more than family. The law was passed in 2007 to prevent excess spending.
Birthday boy Isayev Amirbek, who was aware of the law, thought he was OK to gather his friends for his 25th, as he and his friends simply brought a cake and spent approximately 540 somoni between them (that’s under $100US). Yet he was fined 4,000 somoni (roughly $640US) for his audacity.
Amirbek claimed at first it was just a friend’s night out, but in court prosecutors proved he’d broken the law against celebrating his birthday in public using photographs of the birthday cake posted on Facebook.
Pickles reported the law limits the number of guests, how much money can be spent and the duration of a gathering. Apparently the law was violated 394 times in 2014!
I can maybe see the point of banning lavish birthday extravaganzas in a struggling economy (although think of all the people hired to make the party possible). Yet getting your friends together at a pub and giving each a piece of cake is a preposterous reason to take someone to court! Surely there has to be a better way to spend the time and energy of police, lawyers and court officials than pooh-poohing someone’s birthday fun.