Celebrating women is what STELLARGIRL is all about. March is International Women’s History Month and March 8th being International Women’s Day, I want to share some inspiring stories of women I have met throughout my travels.
My wanderlust has taken me to over 40 countries and what has always brought me so much joy is meeting, learning and laughing with the women from the places I’ve travelled. I spent 2 weeks in Ukraine as a folkorique dancer, I’ve toured throughout Europe, Iceland, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Morocco, Thailand, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong, to name some highlightsand what I found is that women have more in common than not. What starts many of our conversations? Well….it is usually centered around fashion and style. Either I will seek out independent clothing or jewelry boutiques, local designers are my favorite or shop and walk the local markets and be enchanted by their energy and love of fashion. Also, walking around (that’s the best way to see a new city) will entice a conversation and I will compliment a women on her outfit or vice versa and voila instant connection!
One story in particular, in Japan, the “Coming of Age Day” is a Japanese holiday and held annually on the 2nd Monday of January. It is when a woman reaches 20 years of age (between April of the previous year to April 1 of the current year). They dress in the most spectacular furisode’s (kimono) and zori sandals. I was in Toyko that week and at the Asakusa Shrine and the Sensoji Temple, the women were magical. They shared their stories with me, they wanted to take photos, they love their culture with intense passion and they have tremendous hope for their futures. A week I will never forget.
The women in Thailand and Vietnam are a mix of vulnerability and strength and are incredibly sweet. They shared stories of their family traditions, food, flowers and love of life. The local women would also want to hear where I am from and want to learn about Canada (btw I am Canadian and moved to the US in 2005)…. but it is listening and learning from women all over the world that all have hope for the future and all love sharing their cultures and traditions. Women forever inspire me and that is stellar!