Thursday, March 8, 2012

International Womens' Day and Zoltan Day

Happy International Womens' Day, March 8, 2012.  Did you know it was International Womens' Day? We didn't. But one of our visiting scholars from Turkmenistan where this occasion is celebrated, quickly educated us. Of course to celebrate she included some fruit treats and a cake from Pastiche.  This is the day where the existence, presence, skills, capabilities and accomplishments of women everywhere are acknowledged and rewarded.  If you are a mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, wife or female colleague you are supposed to be the recipient of adulation, appreciation and gifts from your Y-chromosome carrying relatives, co-workers and friends.  If you work you can take it easy. If you are at home you can relax and just accept all the gifts to be showered upon you. It sounds like a great day for women and florists at least in those countries that celebrate it.  You would think with all the retail potential it would be picked up in the United States but so far it has not caught on.  It might be because, like May Day, it is mainly a holiday in former socialist countries and far be it from the United States to adopt anything that smacks of socialism.  You would think the women here would have found a way to overcome that but not yet so no presents for them.

Pastiche again? Awesome!

Torte to celebrate women!

Add a healthy side!

Great offering for.....

And here we have some international women!
To recognize the day our colleague got the celebration in order by bringing a chocolate mascarpone torte from the Pastiche Bakery.  This is a cake version of Tiramisu.  As is always the case Pastiche does a great job.  This cake is not very heavy at all nor overly sweet.  The mascarpone filling is great and the chocolate shards and chocolate dust on the top are not only decorative but delicious.  It is also surprisingly light and easy to have too much of.  The writing on the top recognized the special day that it was with a touch of Russian for the actual date - 8 Марта! 

Italian Mascarpone Torte like a Tiramisu cake!
Healthy addition to the torte!
Complementing the cake was a nice selection of sliced fruit in an attractive display that always makes it look luscious. It's something we can partake of guilty free because after all it is fresh fruit. It's a nice counterpoint to the guilty pleasure of the Mascarpone Torte!
Guilty pleasure indeed!
Fortunately we were able to celebrate International Womens' Day appropriately with a number of international women. On balance it was fine but a little bit of female chauvinism started to rear its ugly head as the discussion of the contributions of women got going.
International Womens' Day? Now they tell us it Zoltan's Day!

That didn't last long however because little did we know however that International Women's Day is also the naming day for people named Zoltan.  Zoltan is the Hungarian version of Sultan- something carried over from the Ottoman empire or when the Turks invaded Hungary and were pushed back at the gates of Vienna - you know - something like that.  Just as the women's celebration was reaching its apogee in walks Zoltan claiming it as his special day. 
It's my day so I guess I'll get drunk!
We wondered if having Zoltan Day the same day as International Women's Day meant that Zoltans were all girly-men. No, we were told. According to the resident Zoltan it is an occasion for all Zoltans to go out and get drunk. Happy naming day to all of you drunken Zoltans!

Others started to talk about their name days and the fact that with two names they had two name days. Then naming day chauvinism reared its ugly head as it was pointed out that some people have no name day leading others to gloat. (It's confirmed that their is no name day for Ingvald in Sweden for instance.) But that was countered with the statement that for those without every day is their day.  Awwww!
There's no name day for Ingvald?
Cultural sensibilities were again on display as forks were modified for artistic expression. What to do with it?  Just take a look!
What to do with my latest fork art?
Now you nose!

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