So, as many of you unfortunately do not know, March 8th is International Women's Day (and, coincidentally, my dad's birthday- birthday shoutout!). Why don't you know? Because it looks like America is the only country in the whole world that doesn't celebrate it. Funny how the "most progressive" country in the world doesn't celebrate a day for women. But, I'll leave that soapbox for another day :) I wanted to tell you all about how I spent the holiday. First, I went to school and received some pretty plastic flowers from some of my students (that's the typical gift to give). Then, the classes were shortened so that all the female teachers had enough time to go home and get ready for all of us to go out to lunch together. Can you believe it? So, then we all met up and went to this restaurant where they were having this big celebration for International Women's Day. There was honestly about 400 women there from differnet schools and factories and other places of work. It was pretty amazing. Plus, because this day is so important here, all of the women go all out- they all get their hair done, they buy new outfits, the whole works. So, we all gathered at this restaurant that was PACKED with women (as you can see in the picture). Everyone from my school made it to our table and the traditional music began as we got our salads and drinks.
As soon as the music started, women started piling out onto the dance floor and started the oro. Now, the oro is Macedonia's traditional dance where everyone joins hands and does different types of steps all together in one huge line that winds around the room. There are many different types of oro- easy ones, difficult ones, ones just for men, ones that have a story behind them, etc. I've actually learned a couple of them (the easiest ones, of course) from being at different Macedonian celebrations, and truth be told, I kinda like it. We don't have anything like it back in the states, so I always try and get my oro on when I can. Here in the picture, you can see all the women doing the oro, and as far as I can tell, they're doing one called "6 forward, 3 backward". Anyways, so there was lots and lots of oroing, which was good times. Also present were the sweetest old ladies ever who are all members of this retired women's organization, and they really went wild! Seriously, these chicks know how to have a good time. These 60-80 year old women were dancing on top of their tables, swinging their scarves around and hiking their skirts up to do some fancy dance moves. It was awesome. So, we had our lunch and all did our fair share of dancing, but alas, the fun had to end and we all ended up going home around 6-ish. I'd like to think that the women went home to a clean house and an already prepared meal by their husbands, but I don't really think that's the case, sadly. But, in a country where women are generally underappreciated, it was great to see them really let loose and enjoy themselves, even if it was only for one day.