This week marked a major day on calendar, a day to celebrate the power of women. Being a woman, it was definitely a day that was worth all intentions to celebrate myself and the rest of the women around the world.
International Women’s Day
Marked annually on the 8 March is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. Though, in Norway it is not a holiday, in some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, International Women’s Day is a national holiday.
After work, I joined the rest of the women for an evening party organized by the Eritrean women. Bul-Hall in Kristiansand was filled to the brim by 7pm Norwegian time. Women dressed to kill ready to celebrate their womanhood, were all here. Speeches, food, dance and more dances were the menu here.
“This is a great day for me, I love it because it reminds me of the womens’ achievements, their success and challenges that they have had to encounter. You know womanhood is not easy as most people think, so once in a while it is important to celebrate women,” said Lisa a participant at the party.
Some foreigners impress me, at times I think Norwegian language is so hard but when I hear non-Norwegians speak it so fluent, then it gets me thinking, ” it is not so hard after all”. Lula Berhane from Eritrea who relocated to Norway in 1992, is leading the whole evening and speaks everything in Norsk. In her speech she emphasizes on the need for foreigners to learn the language even as hard as they think it might be.
“ Though I came here as a young girl, I made it a personal initiative to learn the language and it has really opened many doors for me. In Norway, the language is the key here, if you need to communicate, if you need education, you need job opportunities and basically to enjoy living in Norway, then you have no choice but learn the language. I encourage all the foreign women to learn the language that way they are able to peacefully enhance their lives in Norway,” she said.
I agree, most Norwegians do not think they understand English that well, so they are very comfortable with their language. A number of speeches are done in Norsk and my friend Tone is willing enough to do the translations for me.
Amnesty International and other women organizations are represented here and women issues are discussed at length, especially issues affecting women in the third-world countries. Reproductive health and family planning, women empowerment and equality, domestic violence and HIV / AIDS were some of the topics under discussion.
Hanna Kolstø is a one –woman band and gave a really electrifying performance with her prowess and left most of us longing for more. Lula, who is the head of the Eritrean Women’s Association in Norway takes her sweet time to explain to us the food menu in awaiting, which is definitely Eritrean food. Samosa, Injeera, spiced chicken and beef stew and of course in Norway there is a dessert to follow which is always some cake and COFFEE or tea. “Feel free, serve yourself as much as you would wish and enjoy the moment,” she said.
Just like in Norway, more events were held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. It is also important to note that men too are now free to join the women in celebrating this day. A number of men were also present in this party, some of them having accompanied their spouses who had one agenda, to celebrate womanhood.
This woman, could be your grandmother, mother, wife, aunt, girlfriend or even your sister, hoping you cared enough to show some appreciation. It starts with you and me, make a difference, think globally and act locally!! Make everyday International Women’s Day. Together we can join hands to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.
Have a great weekend ahead!!