Let’s Celebrate International Women’s Day

Written on:March 6, 2012
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International Women's Day Soviet postcard

This early Soviet-era poster celebrates the International Women’s Day as a day when female workers would rise against enslavement in kitchens and general oppression of domestic life.

Восьмое марта (the eighth of March) in Russia is more than just another day on the calendar. Instead, it is a holiday, Международный женский день (International Women’s Day).

This is the day when Russian men поздравляют (congratulate) and боготворят (worship) women around them. They bring цветы (flowers) and подарки (gifts) to матери (mothers), жёны (wives), сёстры (sisters), дочери (daughters), подруги (girlfriends) and even одноклассницы (female classmates), сокурсницы (fellow college students) and коллеги по работе (co-workers). Children make открытки (greeting cards) for their mothers, grandmothers and учительницы (female school teachers).

The holiday, long ago stripped of its political meaning (equal rights and opportunities for women) became instead the day when привязанность к дому (domesticity) and женственность (femininity) are praised. It is the day when women are called прекрасные дамы (fair ladies), прекрасный пол (the beautiful sex), and лучшая половина (the better half).

Ironically, this is also the day when women do a lot more работа по дому (housework) than usual. This is an official выходной (day off) and families and friends get together to отпраздновать (to celebrate). So women end up shopping, cleaning, cooking, and hosting parties in their honor.

After all the уборка (cleaning) and готовка (cooking) is done, women finally get to sit down за праздничным столом (at festive table). Now it’s men’s turn to do heavy lifting, specifically pouring вино (wine), коньяк (cognac) or водка (vodka). Women are not supposed to pour their own drinks. Of course, no Russian застолье (feast) goes without a short, or not so short, тост (toast) that almost always ends in так выпьем же за… (so let’s drink to…).

As one of such toasts goes: Так выпьем же за наших прекрасных дам. Нам это ничего не стоит, а им будет приятно! (So let’s drink to our beautiful ladies. It won’t cost us a dime, yet they will feel special!)

С наступающим Восьмым марта! (Happy upcoming 8th of March!)

3 Comments add one

  1. Lee says:

    I’ve been living in Moscow for nearly three years and must say, women are definitely underrated here. It would be better if the original idea behind the holiday was still that of today. It still can in the mind of the individual.

  2. md:tahsin azam says:

    i love my girlfriend very much..she is russian

  3. Mark says:

    Frankly Here in Korea no such holiday as international women’s day.
    One thing i found from this article that Women are not supposed to pour their own drinks only on Mar.8.Tranditionally when we, Korean drink all the time never pour his own drinks. Pour thier own drinks means there no freinds to deliver thier love, to talk to them. Morever we convey our galss after buttoms-up to other who he want to share something, to make something with them.

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