Monday, March 4, 2013

Men's Day--23 February 2013

On the last week of February, the sixth form girls stayed late at school to prepare prizes, surprises, and to make posters for their fellow male students. All this preparation was for Men's Day (День Мужчин) or, The Defender of the Fatherland Day (День защитника Отечества). This holiday used to honor soldiers (in the Red Army) until it was extended to all men after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

It was adorable. These girls were working so hard with their class teacher, Lena, and they were diligently painting an airplane red on the congratulatory men's day poster. I asked Lena, "Do the boys work so hard to prepare for women's day?" and she replied, "Well, their mothers do!"  

Men's Day was over a week ago, but it's still Ukraining men in my mind. Maybe it's because I am "женщина--друг человека" оr man's best friend, which was written on a handmade medal that was given to me by my friend Vitali on Men's day. Logan's medal read "Миру мир--студентам BEER" Which is something like, for peace on earth--be a student of beer. We all went to Vitali's house in the Red Mountain region of Melitopol to "congratulate our men" and celebrate. There were small competitions which Logan and Jon participated in (the two American men of the bunch). First, they had to strip down to their boxers and wrap themselves in a blanket before the fire of a match went out. Then, they had to put their clothes back on before the match was spent again. At some point, there was a pushup competition. Don't worry, I used up all the memory I needed with my camera, which is safely stored, never to be released. You'll just have to believe me or live in doubt until I one day have enough courage to leak this sensational video footage.

On this night, the women sat inside, chatted, sipped, braided hair (ingredients for a фотосессиa). The men stood outside by the fire drinking conyac and making shashlik as their jackets breathed in the smoke. It was because of these jackets, the following day, that we became woozy, smelling the fire and  remembering how much we consumed the night before. We survived and are now gearing up for the eighth of March which is Women's Day. It may just be the biggest holiday in Ukraine and I think it's awesome (and sad that I had never really heard of this international holiday until I came to Ukraine). After women's day, and rightfully so, we will celebrate Maslenitsa (Ма́сленицa) which is literally a week of eating pancakes, shaped like the sun. More on that, later.


  1. Aren't all pancakes shaped like the sun?

    1. Well, you know what they say, "the first pancake is never a pancake..." and therefore not a sun? How are things going in the OC? We've got about 10 months left which I think will fly by!

  2. I just finally changed the calender to March to day and it had "international Women's Day" marked on the 8th! It was weird bc I thought of you for some reason, and now I know it was bc it's celebrated in Ukraine!