esmaspäev, märts 10, 2008


March 8 was International Women's Day, or naistepäev. In Estonia it is known as an old Soviet holiday, but when I crossed over into Helsinki yesterday I saw that they still celebrate the holiday in the 16th republic, too, at least on paper.

As an American, I was unsure how much attention I should pay to this holiday. I mean we already celebrate Valentine's Day and Mother's Day, so why exactly was there a need for International Women's Day?

But the problem is that all the other Estonian women in our lives are married to Estonian guys who indulge them with sweets and flowers on naistepäev. And once you give women another holiday, can you really take it away? So the adult woman in my life got a new book and some flowers, while the smaller ladies in my life -- one aged 4 years, the other 8 months -- got a fairy sticker book and a box of baby teething cookies, respectively.

Another dilemma is that even though I know that naistepäev is a holiday and I participated in it, I still in my heart don't believe it is a real holiday. It's as if I told Epp that June 1 is 'St. Justin's Day' -- which it is -- and that I deserve a little something extra because, well, it would be against the spirit of St. Justin's Day not to buy me something in appreciation of all the hard work I put into being fair and just. She might even take me up on it, but it still would be lacking in the credibility department.

12 kommentaari:

Dzeniferka ütles ...

No celebrations on my end either, and I was kind of hoping that just by being here I might get some extra goods for the holiday. I am lobbying for a Jennifer day myself (shouldn't be hard, wasn't a whole generation of American women named Jennifer?). :)

Наблюдатель ütles ...

"they still celebrate the holiday in the 16th republic"
It's funny because when you read Western analysts, they always refer to USSR's fifteen republics, forgetting that there were sixteen until 1957 when the Karjala-Finnish SSR was dissolved. I used to live there and I remember rediffusion broadcasts in Finnish.
The soviet invader leftovers still celebrate it, and for them it's less of a holiday than a statement of defiance.
I was surprised that it was observed, albeit mildly, here in the Liberated sector of Cyprus.
Listening to some Internet streaming broadcasts of "not-under-control" Russian stations (there are really two: RFE/RL and Moscow Echo) I was surprised at how many callers though that it was not a real holiday. So the occupation leftovers in Estonia and nearby Latvia are more loyal than the king

LPR ütles ...

Soon after the gates of Eden were shut tight behind the couple, Eve began to realize what a major mistake she'd made with her hare-brained decision to take bite from that apple. Well, instead of repenting, she began to look ways to make sure that she's not the only one to blame and who should feel quilty. So in addition to the everyday nagging she began inventing all sorts of holidays for herself in order to instill perpetual feeling of quilt, inadequacy and fear into Adam.

This vulgar tactics worked well even to Eve's own surprise. She'd be happy to know that it still keeps on working and nobody is questioning anything.
(Except, perhaps, our friend, Doubting Thomas G.)

As long the sisters keep this steady pressure on, their men will never dare to ask: WTF?


Alex ütles ...

The women in my world all get flowers as is the tradition in my family here.

antyx ütles ...

Well Justin, there's always Steak & BJ Day. (Google it.) Only a few days left to convince that special someone in your life that it's a real holiday!

Painting waves in clouds ütles ...

In the Norwegian SSR, we celebrated. That being said, it is perfectly allowed to celebrate name days. We do. Just remember that Epp has one, too. :)

Martasmimi ütles ...

Well Justin, there's always Steak & BJ Day. (Google it.) Only a few days left to convince that special someone in your life that it's a real holiday!

This comment is living proof that men are the same everywhere!


Epp, your wife, lover, soulmate, and mother of my 2 beautiful grandaudies, deserves to get flowers on other days as well.
Not just some "designated day".
...and this too is living proof that men are the same everywhere...
Your Mother

Anonüümne ütles ...

My wife was also waiting for flowers on Valentine's day, but I said a day before - Darling, I will bring you the most beautyful flowers for Valentine's day, bit in autumn we will invite all our family and you will cook a big Thanksgiving meal for us.
That was my escape of how not to have too many compulsory holidays in our lives. Americans ofcourse don't have that excuse...

LPR ütles ...

I guess my point is that all these unnatural and compulsory, consumerism-come-mass-hysteria holidays are pathetic efforts to help people conceal the hollowness of their relationships. People lap them up of course because living in a denial is supposedly good for one's mental health.

So I kiss my Silda on the forehead, give her a box of chocolates and then get on the phone with the agent for that $4,300 an hour callgirl for a tryst in Marriott hotel in DC.

But should I be a poor man, I don't despair, I's just go watch football with my bald and potbellied buddies and drink Budweiser.

Kristopher ütles ...

1) Because 364 days of the year it's International Men's Day.

Though something about Women's Day, maybe the "International" part, always made me think of communists.

2) Though your comment on St. Justin Day indicates you already know this, all Estonians get a name day. You should definitely pick an Estonian name, even if it's like the name I took in French class, "Yves", which has nothing to do with "Kristopher".

Name day rules! You can get anything you want, even what Flasher said.

Oudekki ütles ...

Well, for me this day has been always pretty clear, as a day celebrating women's right to work and to be treated equally in labour market with men. So - no thank you, I don't need flowers, I need you not to be suprised meeting female president, computer specialist, professor, worker, etc.

And indeed, this was introduced by communists in the beginning of 20th century, that's why I think it hasn't a particular importance in states. In USSR it became out to be a bit artificial, was women had to work both at home and professionally, and working at home meant standing hours and hours in lines for food, etc, washing clothes w/o washing machines... So, the most normal way to celebrate overloading work of the woman was to give her a day off from both.

Back in capitalism, I think that the original idea has again relevance, that is why even in eastern Europe 8th of march is finding its importance again.

Unknown ütles ...

Huh?! I'm a woman, you know, and i'm really happy to get some flowers from my husband... he's not a romantic type ;) Naistepäev is just a reason for women to feel extra good about beeing a woman and for men proudly to bring flowers and candies for their beloved wives. It was funny in soviet times, when women were almost harrassed with celebrating Naistepäev - there were propaganda meetings and red flags, there were hundreds of articles and speeches about heroic women with five children and still constantly working in stables and on the fields and in factories.. it's just a nice quiet day nowadays, just for paying attention. And estonian men and women probably need that kind of days in the calendar - they have such a rush to work their butts off, so on a working day usually the husband and wife meet and speak only in bed, just before falling asleep :):)