Today is International Women’s Day – which falls on 8th of March every year, and I grew up knowing this. In all post-Soviet countries, the tradition stayed the same for years:
This is the day when men show their appreciation for women they love.
The flower shops would be flooded by men of all ages, and all of them are getting flowers for all of the important women in their lives: mothers, sisters, wives, daughters and friends. Many boys would be getting flowers for their favourite teachers.
My mum would have an arrangement with a florist, so when the men of our family went to buy flowers, they would all be same height and type.. basically so you don’t get a bunch of mismatched flowers!
Many would gift a single flower – often a rose – but in our household it was always tulips.
As a girl in my teens, I’d be getting flowers from my dad, grandad, two uncles, brother, two cousins, a couple of key family friends, boys from school, from music school, from karate… This was the day when you felt the love of all key men around you. But that was in my home country, in Estonia.
Interestingly enough, not many would say ‘Happy International Women’s Day!’; in Russian culture it’s simply “Happy 8th of March!’ – because everyone knows what that date is.
My first International Women’s Day, when I moved to England, was sad – I was terribly homesick, because nobody celebrated it, and the boys here weren’t brought up to know that flowers are a must on 8th of March. I shared my feelings with Ben, and that one year was the only year I was left without flowers. He’s a good egg ❤
But now, 11 years on, a lot more people know about International Women’s Day, and the narrative has changed:
I love the campaigns that are run by great organisations that promote equality for women in many different aspect, and I love what local communities are doing. I love the rise of Women supporting Women, of #EachforEqual campaign this year and just how empowering this day has become. Most of all, I love the facts that this is the day to stop and think about most the important and inspirational women in your life – for both women and men.
But still, for me, forever, 8th of March is the day when I’ll get a sweet message from my dad and many other old friends from back home. The day of tulips, appreciation and love.
I hope that each and one of you, ladies, got to spend the day the way you wanted.
Happy International Women’s Day!
P.S. Spot the Party Po
Lots of Love,