March 8 is International Women’s Day, a holiday that is a big deal in Georgia although it’s little-known in the US.  Personally, I had never heard of it until I attended a women’s college.  It was kind of a big deal there, but in an entirely different way.  In grad school, we generally celebrated, but in a very Russianist way.  It was an East European Studies program, after all.  Usually the guys in seminar would provide some sort of baked goods or flowers–very nice (and generally made me feel rather guilty about having forgotten Defender Of the Fatherland Day entirely).  Turns out that was just a light warm-up for March 8 in Georgia.  Georgian Mother’s Day is March 3, so the beginning of March can start to go to one’s head (even non-mothers are congratulated on Mother’s Day, because, hey–we’ve got potential!).  Women’s Day is basically a big Leslie Knopean Galentine’s Day, except you go out for dinner rather than breakfast.  The two occasions when I have celebrated traditionally have involved going out to party with all the female colleagues.  When I lived in Kakheti, we had a supra at a co-worker’s house, and this year our department went to a restaurant to eat, drink, and dance together.  One of my colleagues made a point of insisting that we ignore men entirely, which is a bit hard when they are strutting about doing comedy versions of Georgian dances.  Last year some friends and I took Women’s Day a different direction and went to a feminist meeting, where they had some truly excellent cake.  Regardless of the celebration style Facebook was buzzing with images like those above and links to cool stories about women, and everyone was messaging, texting, or calling their favorite women to send them good thoughts.  I’m not a fan of all the attention, but I certainly appreciate the cash bonus and the opportunity to spend time with my colleagues in a different setting.

 

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