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Cloves, tights and a kissing hand, or what a typical Women’s Day in the People’s Republic of Poland looked like

Cloves, tights and a kissing hand, or what a typical Women’s Day in the People’s Republic of Poland looked like

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by design, it is a tribute to the memory of suffragists fighting for equal rights for women, equal treatment at work and the same payment for equal work. The first National Women’s Day celebration took place on February 28, 1909 in the United States, but from 1910 until today it is always celebrated on March 8. On March 19, 1911, International Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. At that time, they demanded, inter alia, women’s right to vote or to end discrimination in the workplace. In Poland, Women’s Day began to be celebrated only after the Second World War, but not on March 19, but on March 8. Although it was in times that the Women’s Day was celebrated the most, it was not a sincere celebration, but a mandatory act for a show.

Women’s Day in the People’s Republic of Poland. Press and television

Gierek visiting women in the workplace, wishes from outer space from the USSR and propaganda campaigns (e.g. against social pathologies) conducted by the state under the guise of Women’s Day. This is what happened on March 8 in the times of the People’s Republic of Poland. “Przyjaciółka”, the most popular post-war magazine for women, published a similar appeal every year:

On March 8, all women who love their country, aware of their obligations, will show that People’s Poland can count on millions of her daughters! Women of towns and villages! Wives and mothers! May 8th of March be a holiday for each of you.

Women’s Day in the People’s Republic of Poland. Workplaces

In the times of the People’s Republic of Poland, Women’s Day was celebrated lavishly mainly in workplaces. Greetings were officially made, and even parties and academies were organized, during which ladies were most often treated to the then popular wuzetka and coffee “spit”. Gentlemen laden with cloves appeared in offices or in production halls. If the flower was accompanied by a small gift (e.g. in the form of tights), it was obligatory to make a receipt for its receipt. In some establishments, the notice board even indicated that there was a disciplinary penalty for not receiving a receipt. An obligatory element of giving gifts was also kissing the hand of women.

Women’s Day in the People’s Republic of Poland. Gifts

It cannot be denied that the PRL was the time when shop shelves were empty most often. Therefore, on the occasion of Women’s Day, ladies received scarce goods and enjoyed every little thing. Red carnations were an almost obligatory element of the Women’s Day celebrations, they were given both at work and at home. They were one of the most readily available and cheapest flowers. In addition, tights, coffee and soaps (eg “Lotos” or “Marshmallow”) were popular gifts. The objects of desire were also the perfume “Maybe”, the hit of the Polish People’s Republic cosmetics market, and the perfume “Pani Walewska”, which was then a symbol of elegance and femininity.

Women’s Day deleted from the calendar of national holidays

Since 1993, Women’s Day is no longer a public holiday. Interestingly, it was deleted when the head of the government for the first time in Polish history was a woman – Hanna Suchocka. However, such a decision was made due to the fact that, although officially on March 8, he was supposed to honor the fair sex, most of it was associated rather as a holiday heavily used by the Polish People’s Republic propaganda.

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Source: Gazeta

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