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International Women’s Day- Vietnam

By: Michelle Nguyen- Vietnam Country Director

Across Southeast Asia, 8 March is celebrated as International Women’s Day.  In Vietnam, this means that men and children throughout the country take over the chores for the day, give the women in their lives (from teachers to wives and mothers) gifts and generally pamper them to show them their respect, love and thanks. All the florists are bursting with amazing flowers and fragrant bouquets and flower sellers are seen along the streets to remind passers-by that it is a special day.

Streetside Florists in Saigon- A perfect reminder for forgetful husbands

It is also common for school children to take a small gift to their female teachers and bring home something handmade from their day at school.

Many choose to say 'Thank you' with flowers

Here’s a peek into  how some of our staff celebrate this special day:

Saigon

This year my husband and I just took some time out of our busy lives simply to have a walk in the park and relax at a coffee shop, just the two of us without kids in tow.  My 4 year old daughter brought home a beautiful paper flower she had made and decorated at school for me and in the evening my husband treated my daughters, mother-in-law and I to a meal out so we didn’t have to cook. Wonderful!

Around the city the coffee shops all have special occasion treats on offer and restaurants or hotels host events too.

Hue

Mrs. Binh is one of our amazing guides and such a gentle woman with a wonderful sense of humour. She told me her young sons bought her some flowers and that they visited her husband’s village to spend some time and take a gift to his mother. In the city of Hue itself there were music and dance shows performed by students.

Hanoi

Mrs. Thuong is one of the stars in our team. She works very hard behind the scenes with us to give you the special holidays you ask for. This year she spent her day celebrating with the team in Hanoi and in the evening she went out for dinner with some friends and her family.

I learnt something new this year- Mrs. Thuong let me know that in addition to the public music shows, normally, if you are a member of women’s organisation, you will be invited to join in a meeting and music show at the city cultural hall for a few hours.

So it goes to show that there is always another layer of this culture to peel back and discover, no matter how long you are here…

Want to see more pictures of how Women’s Day was celebrated at our office?  Click here

https://picasaweb.google.com/106918216642947937960/ITLMARCH8TH2012

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