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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in Hungary, Lesson 11 - Women’s Day
Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Hungary Series at HungarianPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Hungarian holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 11, Women’s Day. In Hungarian, it’s called nőnap.
What do you think about International Women's Day celebrated on March 8? In this lesson we will talk about Women's Day from the perspective of Hungarians, how it began, and the message behind it.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
Do you know why there’s no Men's Day in Hungary?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
People show their respect and appreciation towards women by giving flowers, or virágok, and kind words on March 8 every year. But why March 8? Some of you many know that International Women's Day can be traced back to a protest held by textile workers in New York in 1857, where women put on a large demonstration demanding better work conditions and higher wages. This date became a symbol, or in Hungarian szimbólum, of equality of women. In 1913, Hungary joined those countries where women are celebrated on this day, but the date became mandatory only in the Rákosi era, in 1948.
In Hungary, many people have mixed feelings about International Women's Day. Some people say there's no need to have a distinct day dedicated to showing our love, or szeretet and respect, or tisztelet towards women, because these feelings should really be expressed every day. For others, the day leaves a bitter taste in their mouths because the day was strongly connected with the labor movement during the communist era. Either way, on March 8 in modern Hungary all men in the family give nice bouquets to the women in their lives, and in many schools and workplaces women and girls find flowers decorating their desks when they arrive.
We should mention that it wasn’t Women’s Day that finally recognized women in Hungary. Women in Hungary have been celebrated for centuries. Their day was March 25, the day of the Annunciation. According to the common belief, this was the day that Virgin Mary invited Jesus into her womb. This Catholic celebration is about respect and appreciation towards women, in Hungarian nők, mothers and fertility. Those who dislike the celebration connected with March 8 have a valid reason, saying Hungary has its own, centuries-old date to celebrate women, which is free of any political connotations.
One of the most popular flowers given on Women's Day is the Snowdrop, called hóvirág in Hungarian, and known as the messenger of spring. However, since buying and selling cut snowdrops was forbidden in 2005, today they can only be given as potted plants grown specially to celebrate this day.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Do you know why there’s no Men's Day in Hungary?
If men ever complain about the lack of a men’s day, they’re sharply given the following response from women: 'the remaining 364 days of the year are already men’s day!'
Did you like this lesson? Did you learn any interesting facts?
What’s the social status of women in your country?
Leave us your comments at HungarianPod101.com, and we'll see you in the next lesson.