Tomorrow, March 8 is celebrated in parts of the world as International Women’s Day. It is a HUGE celebration in most of the former Soviet Union, and in Ukraine it is a national holiday.
For days, people have been busy shopping and preparing for the holiday. The government gave its employees Monday as a day off so that people could enjoy a 4 day weekend. Employees will work next Saturday to make up for Monday’s day off. I’m emphasizing that it is a big deal here.
Saturday morning I got up early to go to the supermarket. I arrived at the store a few minutes after 9 a.m. The store was already full of people and it only got worse the less than 1 hour I was in the store. Fortunately, I was going to use my debit card and they have special lines just for card users as they don’t have readers at every checkout. Also, fortunately, people haven’t realized that they can use the line even if they don’t use a card. So I was able to get out of the store relatively quickly! 🙂
Later in the day, I decided to go to a local electronics store to look at microwaves. My microwave caught fire last week and I thought I might live without one. I really need an air conditioner before summer and need to save money in order to buy one. However, one week without a microwave and I already miss it. So, I walked into the store and saw it was FULL of shoppers. Again, many were looking to buy gifts for Women’s Day.
I took a quick look at the microwaves and got in my car and went home. It actually took me longer to get OUT of the parking lot due to traffic then the time I spent in the store!
Yesterday, after attending services in a nearby city, the interpreter wanted me to drop her off near a shopping center as she wanted to buy a gift for her best friend. Even in the midst of a heavy snow storm she wanted to go shopping! This is a big holiday!
Tomorrow, the church I usually attend in Donetsk is having a special service for women and their families. I believe the church is buying a small gift for all the women and the mission’s committee is going to do something after the service for guests. The youth of the church are having a fellowship after the service. This is a big holiday!
So, tomorrow is International Women’s Day. Celebrate!