|http://www.flickr.com/photos/10286198@N04/3332335833/ Mimosa Flower|
I went to my favorite source of insight into the Italian Culture, Becoming Italian Word by Word and was not disappointed. There in Dianne Hales latest blog post was the answer to my question. Today is International Woman's Day. A day that as it turns out got it's start in America, though we as a culture don't really celebrate it now. Originally way back in 1908 American woman organized themselves to seek better pay and working conditions, then it seems that in 1909 there was what is referred to as the Shirtwaist Strike organized by women who worked in the garment industry in. However it was not until after the death of 129 woman textile workers in the notorious Triangle Fire of 1911 in New York that the world began to take notice.
After some debate over the date, it was determined that March 8th would be International Woman's Day. Italy can boast of having created Women's Day's most charming tradition, the yellow mimosa. Abundant at this time of year, the flower was chosen by the Union of Italian Women in 1946 for its vibrant, joyous color and its fragile appearance (which disguises a sturdy plant) as well as its traditional symbolism of life from death.(http://www.catholic.org/featured/headline.php?ID=778) And this is why women all over Italy (I assume, but certainly in Rome) are decorated with and given these sprigs of Mimosa flowers.
For more on the State of Women's Rights in Italy
|Prostitutes on the streets of Rome|
|Those being brought here against their will as modern day slaves|
|Those who end up here as refugees|
|The Roma Women who have no legal rights here|
|The Women who work Italian Television as one of Silvio's Girls|