Thursday March 8th people the world over celebrated women’s achievements throughout history and across nations! Initially called International Working Women’s Day, it is a time that commemorates when women first gained suffrage in the Soviet Union. Woman’s Day was predominantly celebrated by socialist and communist countries, until it was adopted by the United Nations in 1975.
In different regions of the world the Womens’ Day commemorations range from a show of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration of women’s economic, political and social achievements. In Laos, this day is a National Holiday (as we think it should be, everywhere!). All public offices and government administrations are closed. To celebrate this National Holiday we do something special the women of Ock Pop Tok who have made the organization what it is today. This year we decided to organize a picnic by the beautiful Tad Se Waterfalls!
From Ockpoptok’s Living Craft Center we fit everyone into two tuk tuks! Originally the weather people predicted that it would rain that day, but luck was on our side as we headed out with sunglasses, boxes of food and drinks to share! In typical Lao fashion the women crack open bottles of Beer Lao & started to play loud music as the tuk tuks pulled out of the Crafts Centre.
When we arrived at the park, we took a quick riverboat across the Nam Khan to the falls where we set up our stations! Everyone seemed to have a task, whether it was spreading the giant banana leaves on the ground, getting buckets of ice to share for the Beer Lao, or preparing the various ingredients for our feast. With so much help it only took only a few minutes to set up the picnic area and soon everyone was eating and drinking!
After we ate and explored the waterfalls, the women wanted to swim. Since it is dry season in Laos, the pools at the waterfalls did not have enough water for swimming. So we took the boat across the river and packed back in the tuk tuks and head to Kaing Noon on the Nam Khan River. It is a spot where locals go to celebrate holidays and weekends. They have bungalows, music, and food stands.
We were a little late to arrive at Kain Noon, but we found a spot to set up our party. Some women went swimming and other relaxed by the river. We spent the rest of the afternoon listening to music, singing, clapping and celebrating the creative women of Ock Pop Tok.
We need to remember to cherish and elevate the women around us that make, not only the company, but society as a whole function regardless if it is March 8th or not!