How to celebrate a birthday during a global pandemic

2020 04 25 News EummenacafevirtualBday Blogimage

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way in which we do many things – work, learn and even celebrate. One such case is at the Kimolia Art Cafe, in Athens, Greece, which went viral after reopening its doors virtually using the Moodle platform to support its community during a government enforced quarantine.

Chatting to co-owner of Kimolia and Moodle Partner Eummena, Nikos Palavitsinis, the online cafe received many requests to hold birthday parties using Moodle Certified Integration, Big Blue Button (BBB). So much so, that Kimolia held an extra set of accounts, reserved only for birthdays, for ‘last minute’ bookings.

Nikos interviewed Kimolia guest, Giannis Antoniou, who shared their birthday using BBB through the Moodle Platform:

Why did you decide to host a virtual birthday party at Kimolia Online Cafe?
“Well, with the Covid situation, we had no alternative. A friend had his birthday and we thought it would be a good idea to try something like this. We had done it a few times in the past, with friends that were studying abroad”.

Why did you choose our Online Cafe, and not just any other tele-conferencing tool?
“We could use any tool, but in this case, thinking that an actual cafe is linked to this, it gave us more ‘meaning’ or context. It felt like we were actually there. Also, knowing the owner and managing to get a table besides the huge demand at the time, also helped a lot!”

What was the process?
“All of us connected [using BBB], the ‘birthday boy’ had a cake prepared and we sang ‘Happy Birthday’ as he blew out the candles. Some of us had thought this through well in advance, and even had presents shipped to him, which he opened right there in front of us, so all in all it was as close as it gets to a real birthday. We talked, we played the hangman game that was already on the platform and we also played black stories, taking turns. It was a very nice evening that lasted for a good 3 hours or so”.

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Disclaimer: Participant information has been provided at request. The recording feature on BBB is deactivated to dismiss any privacy concerns while interacting at Kimolia Art Cafe

Photo credit: Kimolia cafe

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