Celebrating women around the world

Celebrating women around the world

Anush Yepremyan

When you start smelling the highly anticipated aroma of blossoming flowers, hearing the babbling of the river and tweeting of the birds – it means spring is finally hovering everywhere. But if you, in addition to it, see a lot of men scurry in the store more than women do – it is a sign that it is a high time to celebrate Women’s Day; however, in the U.S. it is known as Mother’s Day. The holiday is on the second Sunday of May – this year, that’s May 10 in the U.S. In Europe and countries of former the Soviet Union, it is celebrated on March 8th and called International Women’s Day. Technically, though, it is not really celebrated internationally. The holiday is a wide celebration of women in political, economic and social fields. The day celebrates the past, present and future of women in the world.

I find it interesting how the same holiday is celebrated differently in different countries. For example, in Ukraine, Russia, Armenia and other former Soviet Union countries, people do not work that day. Flowers, candies, and gifts are mandatory attributes of the holiday; that day, you can see many men hurrying home with beautiful bouquets of flowers in their hands for the women in their lives, including their wives, daughters and mothers.

I remember one year my father bought gorgeous red roses for my mom, my sister and me; that day I also got some flowers delivered to our house, so when my dad entered the bedroom I shared with my sister, he giggled and said, “Anush, have you decided to open a flower shop or what?” My best friend got a basket of fruits delivered to her house. It was so pretty that she would not dare to open it and eat it, but eventually she did. One of my professors got a huge teddy bear, almost as big as herself. She said it was challenging and awkward to ride the public transportation; I assure you she caught some attention.

One of my friends from North China, said that the holiday is not marked as a holiday in their calendar, however, as in Russia, local men are carefully selecting gifts for their beloved ones. Another friend of mine from Italy told me that they do celebrate a holiday devoted to women but it is a work day. She also told me that the mimosa flower is the symbol of the holiday, because it was these flowers that were given to women during the first post-war holiday. What caught my attention was the fact that women organize all-girl get-togethers that day and do not invite men to celebrate the holiday with them.

To my surprise, in the country of love and romance, France, the holiday is not celebrated. I think French men easily got away with it; they do not have to run to the stores like crazy in search of a perfect gift for their woman. In France, March 8 is officially considered to be the day when women protected their rights; that is all.

However Women’s Day is celebrated in your country of origin, make sure to take a moment this spring to thank the women in your life for all they do.