Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"W" is for Women

Mom= mama
Mother= mat (with a long a)
Daughter= dotchka
Female Friend= (podruga, pronounced as pahdrooga)

Every year on March 8th, Russia celebrates “Women’s Day”. From what I understand, this holiday is a mix between Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. ALL Women are honored with cards, chocolate, gifts, and flowers. Children honor their Mothers and Grandmothers, too. Kate (my friend on the inside) says that ALL women, married or not, working or not, mothers or not, are honored and celebrated! Hurray for women!

What seems to me like a sweet tradition originally had roots in the Feminist Movement. The tradition began in the early 1900’s, as a sign of the times with the quest for equal rights for working women and peace rallies for World War I in America. In Russia in 1913, following the October Revolution, Russian feminist Alexandra Kollontai persuaded Lenin to make it an official holiday in the Soviet Union. It was established, but still a working holiday until 1965. On May 8, 1965 by the decree of the USSR Presidium of the Supreme Soviet International Women's Day was declared as a non working day in the USSR "in commemoration of the outstanding merits of Soviet women in communistic construction, in the defense of their Motherland during the Great Patriotic War, in their heroism and selflessness at the front and in the rear, and also marking the great contribution of women to strengthening friendship between peoples, and the struggle for peace. But still, women's day must be celebrated as are other holidays."

Why don’t we celebrate Women’s Day? I think we should! I think this may be one Russian tradition we integrate into our household after Baby Deetz arrives!

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