We knew it was going to be cold here in Vladivostok, especially coming from the warm islands of Hawai’i. Some days are colder than others…this was one of the coldest thus far. The temperature was somewhere in the 20s, with the wind chill making it about a billion degrees below 0. And yes, that was the official temperature. Lucky us, we were all completely out of food and had to brave the cold in order to eat. A quick ten minute walk to the OK! Supermarket was enough for us to handle that day. Here are a few images from our trek.
We enjoyed a quiet holiday here in Vladivostok, toasting with green beer at The Republic. There were not many apparent celebrations for St. Patrick’s Day: maybe we just ended up at the wrong place or maybe this is just not the right atmosphere for the types of festive events I had expected. Either way, we did enjoy our green beer and spending the evening with friends.
March 8th is International Women’s Day (IWD) in Russia. The earliest observation of Women’s Day was in New York City in 1909. Organized by the Socialist Party of America, it was celebrated in remembrance of the strike of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union.
Originally named the International Working Women’s Day, IWD was first observed in Russia in a few years later in March, 1912. IWD became an official national holiday in 1918. The concept behind it is to honor women and their contributions to the world in politics, social areas, and economics. The day has taken on a similarity to Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day, celebrating women and love. Tulips and lilies of the valley are popular flowers given to women, as well as perfumes, candies, and other gifts. Many places of employment were closed, including our school. Meaning no classes for us!
As time has gone on, IWD has assisted in bringing to light to women’s rights and issues worldwide. Starting in 1997, the UN began implementing themes for these days. Some past themes were “World Free of Violence Against Women(1999),” “Women and HIV/AIDS (2004),” “Women in Decision-making (2006),” “Equal Access to Education, Training, and Science and TEchnology: Pathway to Decent Work for Women (2011)”, and “Empower Rural Women, End Poverty and Hunger (2012).” This year the theme was “Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture it!” for the day itself, the year-long theme is “Make it Happen.” #makeithappen
We celebrated by eating at one of our favorite Korean restaurants right near school. As always, we enjoyed the atmosphere and the food. The holiday decorations of balloons and ribbons created quite a festive mood. The restaurant’s patroness bestowed upon the ladies in our group yellow tulips before we left. They were my mom’s favorite: a fitting tribute to this holiday abroad.