International Women’s Day Celebration In Vietnam
by Linh Le
International Women’s Day is celebrated all around the world to bring awareness to the achievements women made around the world, as well as a day where all women come together to fight for equality and women’s rights. However, Women’s Day is celebrated a little differently in Vietnam. Vietnam has two special days for women, International Women’s Day, which is on March 8th, and Vietnamese Women’s Day, which is on October 20th. These are days when mothers, grandmothers, sisters, daughters, female coworkers and female friends are showered with attention, praise, love, and little gifts.
I remember every year on this day the streets would light up with colors because of the flowers and colorful banners. All stores would have special promotions for women. People filled up the streets even more than usual with a festive mood to buy flower bouquets and presents for their beloved family members and friends. In my small home, the atmosphere is bright and exciting since early morning. My brother and I would give my mother a card that we had made the previous day and wish her a happy Women’s Day before we all head to school. My mother, who rarely wears any makeup, would make sure to have some lipstick and blush on and had me choose her outfit for the day because her whole office would have a big party and all the men would treat the women for lunch. On the other hand, since I was still a young girl, I looked forward to going to school the most because I was curious to see what clumsy and clueless boys in my class would prepare for this special day. I was in a class where there were only 9 boys and 30 girls, therefore it was like a mission impossible. The boys would go to school very early and decorate classroom with ribbons, flowers, and balloons. One time, they even printed photos of all the girls in the class and made small notes about each girl – what they appreciated in us the most. It was really touching to see all those small details what they notice about you. Furthermore, they bring snacks and we get to have a small celebration in the classroom, inviting all the teachers to join as well.
On this special day, each family has a unique way of celebrating and making it memorable for the whole family. My family, in particular, has our own tradition. My father, who is usually extremely busy, would take time off of work and arrive home the earliest, decorating the house with flowers and gifts for my mother. Then, he would take the whole family out for dinner so my mother did not have to cook or do any cleaning up for the day. We would spend an enjoyable time out and talk about the many things happening in our lives while sharing a big feast. Although my family’s tradition is simple, I am always appreciative of how this day allows us as a family to slow down in our path, spend time with together, and care for the people who are the most important in our life.