Life in Poland

Women’s Day

image Or should I say, International Women’s Day (or Woman’s Day), except we don’t celebrate in the States and most people there have never heard of it.

If you are planning to celebrate this day and you are a man, proper etiquette requires you to give a flower to the important ladies in your life, traditionally, a carnation. (Carnation is gożdik the flower, not the spice. Karnacja is complexion)

Women’s Day (March 8th) has definite political connotations for many in Poland who still associate it with the Communist Era. For that reason the carnation, a perfectly good flower, has gotten a bad rap. If you want to check it, give your love a bouqgozdzikiuet of carnations and see the reaction you get. (The florist will be sure to ask you if you need an invoice ‘cause nobody buys so many carnations except for official celebrations.) One of my students one year gave his girlfriend this kind of goździk (cloves) and a package of pantyhose (communist joke). The reaction wasn’t any better.

Another of my students has given the name “goździki” to communist style office ladies. You know the ones that drink too much coffee, wear too much make-up, set their hair once a week and can be pushed along with kiss of the hand and a box of chocolates. As you can gather, it is not a compliment.

Another of my students, an owner of a company that employs a lot of women, provides reserved movie tickets for each and every woman in the company and an afternoon off to go together to see the movie. That’s nice.

And what will I get for Women’s Day? Probably the same that I got last year and every year before that. Nothing. Misiu always says, “Women’s Day is for communists. And besides, you are American, every day is your day.”

I can’t argue with that.

PS While being called a “goździk” by my student is not a compliment, it still sounds a lot nicer than the popular nickname “biurwa”. This is also an office lady, the word a combination of the Polish words for office and whore. It’s not a compliment either 😉

PS2 Lizzie was complaining that her school practiced “teatr” on Friday and that only boys were allowed to be “rycerzy” and girls had to sit and watch. Before I could lock into conspiracy theory mode, I figured that they were probably practicing for Women’s Day. Probably the boys are going to be knights and give the girls flowers. How sweet.

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  • Reply
    March 8, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    well, tell your misiu that he's right about communists etc. but how nice it is to get a GOŹDZIK or a more contemporary one a TULIPAN:) every woman like to be special today:Dps i do wish u HAPPY WOMAN'S DAY:)and when i was in the US i did get a bunch of tulips from my AMERICAN friend;) so the word about this day has been spread in america too:)xoxops2 how the hell do u post comments with your name and pic next to it, i will never know:)

  • Reply
    March 8, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Thank you for the wishes. They are much appreciated. We did not receive any flowers today, but we did receive muffins with pink frosting from our neighbor. They've magically disappeared.Misiu said the women's day was supposed to be a distraction, like \”look over here at these pretty flowers and don't pay attention to how much the communist regime sucks\”. About posting with your pic, if you are logged in/signed in you will be asked to choose an identity for when you comment. For ex your \”Google name\” or anonymous or your name as you choose to write it each time. If you choose your \”Google\” ID, then your pic (the same as in the followers box) should come up next to your comment. Try it out with your next comments and we'll see if it worked.

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    March 8, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    well i've tried and got: Your request could not be processed. Please try again. it drives me nuts:/

  • Reply
    March 8, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    But you know, I would never thing about the \”communist\” association, if not the constant repetition about it. It's a nice day, nice day to test if you mean something to \”that\” man, or if he is a gentleman. My dad gave me and my mother box of chocolates, and that was super nice of him 😉

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    March 8, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    I'm with Misiu:)) Everyday is my Day!! I don't like the \”nice\” gestures that were forced by calendar;))

  • Reply
    March 8, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    ja tam kocham goździki!

  • Reply
    March 8, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Miss, I like them too:) But it makes me more happy when my husband brings them on a regular day, without any occasion. Only then, I know, he was just thinking about me, and nobody or nothing remind him about the duty to give me a flowers:)) Women's Day is a every woman holiday, and in my understanding, it becomes a man responsibility to come home with a flowers. There is no spontaneity in this gesture. That's how I feel, and always did.

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    March 9, 2010 at 8:11 am

    To ja sie tylko podpiszę pod słowami Stardust.Kocham kwiatki i ładne gesty, ale jak widzę kolejkę smutnych panów w kwiaciarni i te panie idące z pracy z siatką zakupów i jednym wymęczonym przez dzień tulipanem …. 😉

  • Reply
    March 9, 2010 at 8:59 am

    So, it is the day after Women's Day and here's the damage: no flowers, blog wishes, wishes from a group of male students, wishes and muffins from our neighbor, and a text message from a student in the evening wishing me \”tulipanowych snów\” (tulip dreams). Not bad 🙂

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