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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in Poland, Lesson 17 - Women's Day
Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Poland Series at PolishPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Polish holidays and observances. I’m Michael, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 17 - Women's Day. In Polish, it’s called Dzień Kobiet.
In this lesson, we’ll take a look at a holiday that exists not only in Poland, but in many other countries as well. That holiday is Women's Day, which is celebrated on March 8.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
Is Women's Day a public holiday in Poland?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
In Poland, Women's Day began to be widely celebrated after the Second World War. It has been skillfully used by the socialist governments to promote the image of women, or kobieta, as leaders in the workforce, who, through their hard effort and dedication, support their country. In those years, it was a mandatory day of celebration in workplaces and schools. Women would receive carnations and other products that were generally difficult to find back then, such as tights, towels or coffee.
The tradition of giving women little gifts or flowers has survived to this day. Today, the most popular gift is the tulip, or tulipan. When women meet men on this day, regardless of whether they are a boss, colleague, friend or father, they can usually count on receiving a symbolic tulip. It is a nice gesture, but not practiced by all. Some people think that Women's Day is a socialist hangover and choose not to celebrate it.
Each year, in the cities, special events are organized with women in mind. This makes it a great day for doing something out of the ordinary, such as going to one of the many concerts, in Polish koncert, or performances, called pokazy, held only on March 8. Many shopping centers organize workshops and a variety of shows, such as make-up shows, booths with tips from stylists, or advice from experts in the fields of health and beauty. There are also plenty of contests and chances to win shopping vouchers.
Often in larger cities, you can find young men with bunches of tulips handing them out to women on the streets. It’s not uncommon for such events to be organized by television or radio stations as well.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Is Women's Day a public holiday in Poland?
Women’s Day was a public holiday in Poland during the Polish People's Republic (PRL), but since 1993 it has not been one. Still, this doesn’t change the fact that it is an opportunity to spend the day a little differently than usual!
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
How is Women’s Day celebrated in your country?
Leave us a comment telling us at PolishPod101.com!
And I’ll see you in the next lesson!