Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Osam Mart, or International Women's Day

Osam Mart, or the Eighth of March, is International Women's Day. In countries around the world, women protest over women's issues. There was a small protest at noon here in Sarajevo.

But that definitely took a backseat to the main event:  lavising attention on your mother, wife, teacher, secretary, etc., etc. The streets were full of flower and balloon and stocking vendors.

Isaac, for the first time in weeks, was not the first kid out of the door at the end of school because he and all the boys in his class gallantly let the girls leave first.

And I got flowers and cards and gifts from my family. (Does this mean Mother's Day in May is off?)

I discovered from Wikipedia that there is a reason that the day is so much more important in Bosnia than it is in, say, the US. It was originally a Soviet holiday, starting in 1911 as a political statement of women's rights. Over the years, its meaning in the Soviet bloc morphed and it became increasingly personal--the day to give flowers to your mom and your grandma. Today the UN has adopted the date as the "Day for Women's Rights and International Peace," but, ironically, in the former Soviet bloc it remains largely apolitical, a day to honor the women in your life.

Happy Osam Mart!


Erin K said...

Happy Osam Mart to you too.

If you didn't have a weight/cargo issue already I'd have you pick me up several pairs of those awesome stockings by the way! The plaid ones look super cool.

Annette said...

I'll have to see if they're still out on 9 March. I suspect all of the vendors will have disappeared.

Heatherlady said...

You know I just read an article talking about how "mother's day" in the US was originally a day to support peace. It seems really appropriate to me that in Bosnia International Women's day and Mother's day are sort of combined. I like that!

That little picture is precious