Sunday, March 8, 2009

International Women's Day



International (Working) Woman's Day (IWD) is marked on March 8 every year. It's a global celebration for the economic, political and social achievements of women, though honestly I'd never heard of it before I came here. It began as a political event, but soon became simply an occasion for men to express their love to the women around them in a way somewhat similar to Mother's Day and St Valentine's Day mixed together. All over Belgrade and in other towns in Serbia, men and children will be buying flowers, chocolates, or chintzy trinkets for the ladies in their lives.

Most women I know don't care for this holiday, but hey, it's nice to get flowers.

The women in my photo have a hard life---not a tractor, not to mention a man, in sight.

P.S. See the railroad tracks? Stop by tomorrow and see where they take you.

21 comments:

Debby said...

How interesting that it is actually 'celebrated' there. Here it is one of those days that simply are acknowledged, much like 'national pickle day' or something.

Jacob said...

That looks like a hard life. The photo is terrific. B&W makes it more dramatic and I think the cross section of lines is powerful. The railroad track is almost like a barrier protecting the women.

Ribbon said...

Hi
It's barely acknowledged here (australia)if at all. If I was to do a survey I believe that few people would know the date or the day in mention.
One time in the early 80's I got a job due to the fact it was "international working womans day" in a company that had never employed a woman.

Powerful photo!

best wishes Ribbon

Marianne said...

I remember it as a time for reflection on the position of women in Yugoslavia (when I lived there, it was still Yugoland). I remember how women could go home early from work and in the early 80s there were lots of shopping trips to Trieste, Italy.
Good photo. Could be interpreted in two ways- women's right to work, only women working.

koala said...

The reason You never heard of it is because this celebration day was adopted by communist in the whole Eastern block as a non religious festive day contrary to all St.Patrick's, St. Valentines, St. Nicholas, St. Whatever (you name it- and some catholic country celebrates this). The festiveness is still continued in all Eastern Europe. And it's not "Working woman" just "Woman day" like Fools day on April 1st or Labor day on 1st May. Non of the former soviet countries had Valentines or Halloween till 90's but we had and still do the 8th of March and the 1at of May.

koala said...

PS. And this is by far the best photo I've seen on this blog.

soulbrush said...

this is so evocative, am still going to nag you about putting a book together of all these shots, they are so fabulous.

koala said...

I was laughing from myself while writing. I've never been to Belgrad and still feel the need to explain the "Slavic soul" and related stuff to You who's been living on this side of the globe for 30 years.

Marie Reed said...

What a cliff hanger my dear! Here is a big bouquet of sunflowers for Womens Day!

Obelix said...

Nice photo. When zoomed-in, the second woman from righ has some white glow all around herself :) Tracks are great.

B Squared said...

Never heard of it.

angela said...

This is an amazing photo..what back breaking work for them.

Babooshka said...

Always learning. I had seen it mentioned on another blog, until then no I hadn't heard of it either. This swooping cinematicimage reminds me so much of the American Mid West Depression photos. I'm sure these woman would prefer helping hands than flowers. Can't wait for the next post.

Anonymous said...

International Women's Day - story I just heard on - you guessed it - NPR - public radio.

A forgotten piece of American history - farmer-ettes - an enormous organization (author said number, didn't catch it) of women who organized themselves to work on farms when men went to war. They wore uniforms, demanded an 8-hr day, stayed in camps, could do all labor men could (!) had tractors. all different econ. levels, though I think she said not races. Not at first accepted by farmers, until they proved themselves. There are songs - recruitment songs, land-army song. By 1918 in full force. Some women also active in suffrage. Suffragettes saw this as patriotic, breaking into a new 'field'. Featured in every magazine and newspaper of the time, yet quickly faded from memory.

Think of how we are connected to all the women in the world.

--Marianne

Alexa said...

Gorgeous photo, bibi. If I'm ever tempted to complain about my job, I'll think about these women and count my blessings.

gogouci said...

They look like an angry mob looking to cause trouble. Go Girls!

Marie-Noyale said...

I hope the men are not behind sitting on the machines!!!

Mirjana said...

Srecan ti 8 Mart :)

Rob said...

Just perfect. This is really an amazing photo.

Tash said...

that is an amazing photo, B. A real award winner.
When I was little it was Dan Zena, and Moms and teachers always got presents. I remember buying little perfume bottles and small crystal vases. Another thing I haven't thought of in years. I remember one year my parents went an office party for the occasion (at the Institut uglja i koksa by Tuzla)

Lauriane said...

Beautiful photo!!! =)