The following bilingual Russian MiniLesson is meant to build your vocabulary by providing Russian phrases within English text. Hover over the bold Russian to reveal its English translation.
or is one of Russia’s official holidays, but has a Western . It was originally championed in the US and Europe by those working for women’s suffrage and socialist causes.
In August, 1910, awas organized to precede the general meeting of the Socialist Second International in Copenhagen. Inspired in part by American socialists, German Socialist Luise Zietz proposed establishing an annual “International Woman’s Day.” The delegates, 100 women from 17 countries, agreed with the idea as a strategy to promote , including for women.
It long did not have a set date across the globe, but was most often celebrated on a Sunday. In Tsarist Russia and America, for instance, it was usually held on
On February 23, 1917 (March 8 according to modern calendars), women in Saint Petersburg went on strike for , demanding the end of World War I and the food shortages that the war had helped cause. The next day, workers from the Putilov Plant , after which occurred, and finally . , as it came to be known, was put down, but was seen as a precursor to the which would topple the tsarist government.
Following the October Revolution, Bolshevik Alexandra Kollontai persuaded Vladimir Lenin toin the Soviet Union, but it was still a . In 1965, March 8th became a . In the Soviet Union, this holiday was , until eventually becoming a day for women to fight .
International communists worked to make the day an international holiday, but apparently found international resistance because of the day’s connection to the events that helped create the USSR. A story began to circulate, apparently originally from the French Communists, thatbegan with a held on March 8, 1857 by female workers of textile factories in New York . The women, the story goes, had to be beaten back by police.
Although there were many protests in New York of the sort described in the story, such a protest did not occur on March 8, 1857. Interestingly, however, the Communist authorities in the USSR began supporting this version – tracing the original roots of the day not to St. Petersburg in 1914, but to the US in 1857 and thus the story is widely accepted the world over.
In 1975,. Every year, they set a theme for the day, focusing on women’s rights and issues.
Currently, March 8 is an official holiday in many countries, including throughout most of the former USSR, China, Cuba, and some countries in Africa and Asia. In some countries, the day is not a public holiday, but isnonetheless.
In Russia, the political side of the holiday has been largely forgotten in favor of a romantic slant. Theof celebrating March 8 is and . The most popular to give are , , , , , and . In the Soviet era, were a popular flower to give. significantly increase in number around March 8; in some of them, . Studies show that Russians spend, on average, about a half billion dollars on flowers for the holiday. Spending on this holiday accounts for between 15 to 40 percent of Russia’s two billion dollar a year flower market.
Many menand many will on that day as well. Some men will as a gift as well. The most popular gifts given on this day include .
Russia is also not short on holidays celebrating women. Russia also celebrates, which occurs on the last Sunday of November, but on which it is only . День матери . was also only introduced to Russia in 1998 and is not widely celebrated there. Another recent import is , when Russians . is quite widely observed, however, and the Moscow metro can be seen overflowing with young men carrying flowers on this day. March 8 is different from both of these holidays because on