Today, March 8, is naistepäev or International Women’s Day, a holiday that I was never aware of prior to living in Europe even though it ostensibly began in 1909 as a political event in the United States. Now it’s still observed in some European countries, although not in a political way– it’s pretty much like Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day, and men bring flowers or gifts to the women in their lives. Estonians seem to have mixed feelings about this event, since it is taken very seriously in Russia and was a national holiday in Estonia during the Soviet occupation. Now some view it as an archaic reminder of the occupation and Soviet influences on society. However, in Finland it’s still taken quite seriously and has no negative connotations. I take the holiday about as seriously as I take Valentine’s Day, which is to say that I think it’s fun but otherwise not a very big deal. J grew up with the Women’s Day tradition, so he will definitely be calling his mother today and he’s also baking me a cake. I certainly can’t complain about that. 🙂 I’ll post pix of the finished product later!