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In the wake of 8th of March,Tajikistan

Written by on Wednesday, 19 March 2014
Culture and History, Tajikistan
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Not everybody knows,  but the celebration of 8th of March as we used to it under the title “International women’s day” is not celebrated in Tajikistan since 2009.What we celebrate on 8th of March is called now, after the presidential decree “Mother’s day”. In this article I would like shortly recalled how we renamed the day, what we want to say by this action and what we finally have.

About 8th of March in the context of Central Asia

It is not asecret that International Women’s Day is, first of all, a political holiday, holiday of ecomic straggle, holiday of solidarity of all women of the planet in
the fight for their rights, equality and emancipation. It is a holiday that is also connected to the development of the socialistic movement in the beginning of
20th century. It is also not e secret that for the last several decades that holidays evolved from the emancipatory action into the day presenting flowers, perfume and candies. Once a year. The logic and the form of the initial holiday  was broken. There is no talks on rights and emancipation left.  What we do is that we celebrate a biological gender  that is called “women”. That is nice thing to do but totally senseless to my  mind.

I am glad that there is still in Central Asia movements that are fighting got the initial idea of the holiday. One of such initiatives is Bishkek feminist SQ initiative.
I have to say here about the unacceptable situation  which the activist of this initiative  had to face on 5th of March, 2014 when they were making a steer action with informational stand explaining passersby the idea, meaning and the history of the holiday. At one of the moments the activist we surrounded and abused, and even abused physically by some locals with nationalistic and patriarchal  mood.

The full story and can be read here (rus). What is most dipresing here is the  local law enforcement representatives has taken no action to stop the violence.

But let’s get back to Tajikistan. Here, in 2009 the president of the country

President Emomali Rahmon signed a decree to rename the holiday on March 8 in the “Mother’s Day “. In accordance with the press service of the Tajik State this
was done ” to re-establish respect for the woman-mother , a builder of life, support of the family ,”.Rahmon emphasized in his congratulatory message to mothers of Tajikistan , ” now we have to celebrate 8th  of March  not as before, but in the spirit of our ancient culture and traditions of our ancient people.” The President said
that ” three thousand years ago in our land ( Tajikikistan ) there existed dedicated to the mother , which was celebrated in late February or
early March, and it is more acceptable to our culture .

”  What is behind of this Mother’s Day in the end is not clear , but it is not clear only from the first glance. Notion of ”
mother ” , dialectically connected with the notion of a “child ” or a ” baby “. That is no  ” mother ” without  ” child”. So Mother’s day, in its essence – is a celebration of a woman who gave birth and it is the holiday to congratulate her with this .  Furthermore it is mentioned ” to re-establish respect for the woman-mother ,  - a builder of life, support the family.” The key message here is – “mother , as a support of the family”. Here we come to the expansion of the concept of ” mother’s Day “, as
” Day of a woman who gave birth” to a “woman that is having a family”, that is, –  her husband and children ,  that she has  to support. All this is actually legitimated and defined “main function” of a woman – give birth and to be a supporter  the family . Of course there is  no more primitive and ancient message can be
found . And of course there  is no talks about rights or emancipation , that were at least at the official International
Women’s Day.

I think the legalization of such a holiday is just a legal consolidation of existing trends that dive Tajik society into a “cozy womb” of the lack of critical thought,
patriarchy, domestic violence, women’s unpaid work at home, and little paid work at work.

Congratulations to you, dear mother!

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