As you may have guessed from my previous articles I am from Russia. Otherwise, why would I know so much about this country? And, as a Russian, I never liked International Women’s Day. Why? My birthday is on March 6 and Women’s Day is two days later and while all Russian women receive flowers and nice gifts on this day, I have to be happy with a ‘combined gift’. What this really means is that they give you a present for your birthday and in two days they say – I am sorry you’ve already had your presents. But…But…Okay.
On this day most western countries such as the US, UK and some EU countries see feminist marches and women celebrating amongst themselves. In Russia, however, It’s a completely different story. On this day men turn from tough alpha males into sweet and caring househusbands. They take over household chores, cook and hover around their wives or girlfriends. They also treat their ladies (wives, girlfriends, mothers, sisters and daughters) with flowers, cards and many for-her gifts. In fact, this is probably one of the most expensive days in a man’s life depending on how many female relatives he has.
At school and then at university boys gave us cards and flowers. I don’t think they did it voluntarily, teachers would’ve initiated and organised this. Still, for us, Russians, it feels pretty normal to celebrate Defender of the Fatherland Day and International Women’s Day by exchanging gifts and good wishes. Perhaps Russia will be a very different country in years to come dominated by western beliefs and the feminist movement. But I like it the way it is now – lots of national holidays, a proper women’s day and presents, of course.
As no one studies or works on March 8, all school and work functions happened on my birthday. I used to be cross with the fact that all the attention wasn’t focused on me and someone else received presents too even though it was my birthday. At least now, in England, my birthday is back to being the most important day of March. As a matter of fact, I don’t even expect flowers or gifts from my English husband on women’s day. I always found it a very hasty and busy day. Besides, we have hardly any public holidays in England meaning that you just burn your candle at both ends and are too exhausted to celebrate.
What do you think about Russian women’s day and wound you like your other half fussing over you?:)