Saturday, 8 March 2014

International Women's Day

International Women's Day Postcard from USSR
My husband asked me today what International Women's Day means to me.  I had to stop and think for a minute.

Interestingly enough, although this day has a distinct political connotation in America, Europe and Australia (women's rights, celebration of women's economic, political and social achievements, awareness of the struggles of women worldwide); in the countries of the former socialist bloc it is celebrated simply as a respect, appreciation and love towards women, an occasion for men to express their love for women in a way somewhat similar to a mixture of Mother's Day and Valentine's Day. 

On this day it is customary for men to give the women in their lives – friends, mothers, wives, grandmothers, girlfriends, daughters, colleagues, female teachers etc. – flowers and small gifts. 

In Russia 8 March is a public holiday and is celebrated with great fervor! It's a celebration of spring, beauty and love! It usually starts with office parties a day or two before, followed by special family lunches with lots of flowers, gifts and dedications to all women! It's a very special and one of the most loved holidays in Russia!

Well, I am not in Russia, but I do want to feel somewhat special on that day too!  So, every year I try to organise some extraordinary things for the 8 March to make the day a little unique!

Today's morning started with a bike ride along one of the most beautiful beaches in Western Australia, Waikiki Beach. 

The weather was just perfect for cycling,  only +27C (as opposed to +37C we regularly had during the last month or so) with the mild breeze to just keep you cool and not to blow you of your bike!

The views were spectacular!  

Turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean on one side and a muddled bush on the other,  pelicans soaring high in the sky, gentle rustle of waves breaking on the shoreline and that distinct smell of seaside - mixture of seaweed, salt, fish and ozone.  

Wonderful day ended up with a champagne toast - to all the wonderful International Women I know!