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Sunday, February 26, 2006


Happy Red Army Day!

Thursday was Red Army Day, a holiday that is still acknowledged in Ukraine. The Ukies in my office organized a rather elaborate lunch to celebrate, with red wine, champagne, pizza, red caviar on toast, fruit and boxed candy.

Admittedly, I found this a little hard to swallow. As I understood it, the Red Army was like the boorish uncle who showed up late to the party emptyhanded, drank all the liquor and kicked the dog. Why acknowledge it with toasts and a two-hour long lunch?

Turns out that while it’s still called Red Army Day, it has been transformed into the equivalent of the much-beloved International Women’s Day on March 8th, only for men, even if they never got anywhere near a tank or a gun.

International Women’s Day is a HUGE deal in the former Soviet Union. In fact, I remember the traffic in Baku on that day at its worst, with Ladas and Hummers alike double and triple parked in front of perfume shops and flower stores. A man gets a free pass to behave boorishly 364 days a year as long as he congratulates every woman in his life – from teachers and bosses to his mother, wives, daughters and all his mistresses -- on March 8th. In fact, in Baku, you could tell it was International Women’s Day because the restaurants were filled with nervous, dolled up housewives, strained conversations and men exchanging sympathetic glances with each other, eager to exchange wives for whores.

Personally, I find there are simply not enough opportunities to celebrate the accomplishments of men. So let’s raise a glass of Armenian cognac at lunch on Red Army Day to all the men in our lives who find the time to protect the Fatherland AND all of us weak women.


Nice blog you have! Though my blog is named after Russia, it deals with all the former Soviet states. And though it is in Dutch, it might be of interest for you and your visitors. At least check out the game in which Ukrainians throw eggs at Putin during the "gas war". Click here.

Let's link to each other!

Remco's Rusland
Not just the former SU - Women's Day is a big darned deal in Vietnam, China, Cuba ... don't know about N Korea, really can't imagine any celebrations would be held there that don't revolve around the Great Leader. Maybe he dresses up in drag for the day?
Just a small amendment, International Women day is celebrated on March 8, not the nine, as you mentioned. And it's a really widely celebrated in former USSR, in fact in many of post soviet republics its a public holiday, definitely in Russia and Azerbaijan.

The blog is really nice, I've been following it for more than one year and always find very interesting. Thanks a lot.
How come you focused on the boobs, rather than the fact that she's holding up an entire building? ;)
Thank you for posting.
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Thank you for all the great posts from past few days! I look forward to reading your blog, because they are always full of information that I can put to use. Thank you again, and God bless you in future.
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