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Vietnamese Women's Day by Nguyễn Thuy Hang (Vietnamese new immigrant)

Women’s Day is an important holiday in Vietnam. In Vietnam we celebrate the International Women’s Day on March 8th, and the Vietnamese Women’s Day on October 20th. The origin of Vietnamese Women’s Day is based on the founding date of Anti-Imperialism Women’s Union on October 20th, 1930. Anti-Imperialism Women’s Union has since then changed its name to Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU) and is the champion of women’s rights in Vietnam.

Vietnam used to be a patriarchal society, women’s social status was very low, even the opportunity for education was rare. Most of the Vietnamese women back then had to work, rear children, and take care of household chores. It was a difficult time for Vietnamese women. The establishment of Women’s Union signifies the liberation of women in Vietnam, it means women have equal rights and are acknowledged by society. Vietnamese women often say October 20th is the day women stood up!

Vietnamese Women’s Day is a day for Vietnamese men to show their romantic gesture. On the Vietnamese Women’s Day, girls will dress up for the holiday, and boys that are in love will send flowers and gifts to their girlfriends. Husbands and sons will not only send flowers and gifts, they will even cook, mop the floor and do the laundry. If a man ignores that day, no girl will smile at him.
I have moved to Taiwan for almost twenty years, which means I have not enjoyed the special day for Vietnamese women for almost twenty years. I really missed it! I wish my husband could be more aware of this Vietnamese culture and tradition. Maybe one year he could show his appreciation for me on Vietnamese Women’s Day. Even thinking about it makes me happy, if he actually celebrates Women’s Day with me, I might shed tears of joy. One can always hope!

Vietnamese women smiling after receiving flowers for the Vietnamese Women’s Day

Vietnamese Women’s Day celebration concert