March 8th is Women’s Day here in Moldova. Which means most of the country gets the day off. Minus the women, that is, who will work hard preparing feasts (kidding, kidding…sort of).
But last week, the director of our agency came to me and asked me what I would be doing on Tuesday, March 6th. I’ll be here!, I told him. At which point he very kindly offered me an invitation to a special women’s event being held at the local Culture House, the place in town where they hold all kinds of different plays and performances. The rest of the women at my work drew names for the second ticket.
So, Tuesday, after a little lunch, I headed over to the Culture House with my colleague Iulia. So much estrogen in one place! At the front, women exchanged their tickets for a small cash reward in a fancy, flowery envelope. As we continued into the auditorium, section, all women were given a small bouquet of white flowers. Flowers are handed out for almost every kind of celebration here in Moldova.
We found some seats and waited for the presentation to begin. The president of our district (which is sort of like a state for Moldova), opened with a few words, wishing the women health, happiness, and success in everything they do. He also said something I liked about women being the soul of men. It sounded better in Romanian.
There were three singers who performed several songs, interspersed with some satirical skits based on a television series that aired in Moldova about a decade ago (as my colleague explained to me).
Then, on Wednesday, the men at work organized a luncheon for the women. We spent the afternoon eating together, drinking wine, and toasting to women. I had been in the capital helping with a seminar all morning, so when I arrived, the men made sure to present me with the gift they had purchased for all the women (a single pink carnation and some Dove body wash). They stood, wishing us health and happiness, all the best, affection and appreciation from loved ones, and thanked us for all that we do. It was very kind.
Women’s Day, like so many holidays in Moldova, is quite a big deal, as I am gathering. It’s common to buy gifts and flowers for the women in your life, and everyone stops to celebrate the women in Moldova. This afternoon, I plan to head over to my host family and bring the women a few small gifts and some apple crisp, which I told them I would make for them sometime.
But, while we’re talking about appreciating the women in our lives, I also want to take a moment to thank the wonderful women in my life – my mom, my aunts, my grandma – who I know read this blog. And to my sisters, whom I adore, I think of you often. And to my wonderful female friends, so many who have been so supportive through this experience, even all the way from the States. I love you all!
I also took some photographs and video that I thought I’d share in celebration of today’s holiday, so I hope you enjoy.
Below is a quick clip from Ion Suruceanu, who performed at the Culture House. I’ve heard the song before, I think it’s pretty popular in Moldova. In any case, I sort of like it. Or maybe it’s that he’s wearing a cowboy hat and looks like someone straight out of Arizona…
Another quick performance clip.
And another! Last one, I promise.
Happy Women’s Day, all!