There are special days celebrated across the world, but not often is one day recognized internationally. International Women’s Day, held annually on March 8th, is a day celebrating the achievements of women and calling for the advancement of gender equality throughout the world. Originally started in 1909 by socialist activists in Europe, it was soon after applied internationally.
Currently, International Women’s Day holds official status in many countries around the world, such as Afghanistan, Laos, Madagascar, and Georgia. It is even considered a public holiday in Russia and Vietnam. In several other countries it is widely celebrated, but not official. In countries such as Montenegro and Cameroon, it is customary for men to present small gifts to the women on this day. In others, it is the equivalent of Mother’s Day.
Today, Google released a series of videos of women from around the world talking about their aspirations in their native language — including the incredible Malala Yousafzai. Check out today’s International Women's Day Google Doodle for multilingual inspiration (and a chance to practice listening in your target language)! You can participate in the conversation with the hashtag #OneDayIWill.
So, how do different countries and cultures celebrate the achievements of women?
During “La Festa della Donna”, women receive bouquets of yellow mimosas from the men in their lives. These flowers were chosen by feminists to celebrate the day after the end of WWII. They are in bloom during this time and have a lovely scent.
March 8th is an official public holiday and everyone partakes in the festivities. Men and women give one another gifts and also share gifts with their mothers, grandmothers, daughters, and sisters. It is primarily a time for family. Similar to Valentine’s and Mother’s Day, flowers and chocolates seem to be the most common gifts.
Police officers often pull people over –– not to issue tickets — but to issue flowers to women on International Women’s Day.
Today, Air India is celebrating by having an all-girl crew for each flight. There are also marches throughout the country demanding equal rights for women.
There are marches and protests demanding an end to violence and discrimination against women. One of these marches brings awareness to the violence towards women with disabilities.
A memorial dedicated to the “comfort women” who were taken into sexual slavery by the Japanese has just opened to bring honor and respect to the victims, some of whom were in attendance. A Girls in Tech event is also held in Taipei to recognize the entrepreneurial efforts of women.
The Women of the World festival will take place in London to celebrate the achievements of women worldwide.
There are talks held to recognize the achievements of women and to continue the discussion of gender equality throughout the world. There will be a week-long arts festival in NYC sponsored by UN Women.
We hope these insights into different cultures inspire you to learn more. Remember to keep learning languages! They are the best way to increase one’s cultural understanding. Mango Languages believes that language learning can be a way that we move towards world peace.
Join us in celebrating women's culture, diversity, and equality.