As I’ve written about many times before, yesterday was March 8, otherwise known as International Women’s Day.
Instead of my thoughts on the matter, today I’m linking to this wonderful post written by a woman who is working here in Moldova. She does an excellent job of describing what the holiday is like around here.
To her awesome description, I’ll just add a few thoughts:
- Serenditipitously, the weather was fantastic. Sunny and balmy, about 16 degrees. Wonderful day to be outside and my wife spent most of the day at the park with some family and our dog. Just excellent.
- Here in Chisinau there was a big free (musical) concert. Since March 8 is a bank holiday (gov’t and most offices closed), people were free to attend in droves.
- By my estimate, roughly a billion flowers gave up their lives yesterday. It is seriously mandatory for every woman to get flowers, including from their daughters (and granddaughters), not just from the men in their lives. If flowers could speak, March 8 would be known as Apocalypse Day :P
I’m always a little conflicted about March 8. On one hand, it’s wonderful to see that a celebration of women garners a real holiday, where most people get time off from work and women are genuinely feted and honored.
On the other hand, there are almost zero women celebrated in Romanian/Moldovan culture, neither living heroes nor historical ones. The sole woman on the Romanian money is a nameless peasant hefting a barrel of water and here in Chisinau, in the Classics Alley featuring busts of all of the greatest Romanian artists throughout history, there’s not a single woman.
Quick – name a respected or famous Romanian author who is a woman and is not alive today. Bzzzzt! Time’s up.
Eh, what can I say? Once again (surprise, surprise), it’s actually the Russians who contributed the most to a holiday that’s a forthright and non-patronizing celebration of women. Yeah, hate me all you want to but gender equality in the Soviet Union was always far more advanced than in the vaunted “West”.
Hope you and yours had a lovely March 8! :)