Thursday, March 12, 2009

Flowers

It's nice to visit a country where flowers are loved and enjoyed. India is one such country. Flowers are everywhere. Even in the poorest marketplace in the poorest part of town, someone will be selling flowers, garlands, or something to tie in your hair. Romania is another such society. Having been there during Valentine's weekend I saw lots of women of all ages carrying flowers. How nice that this isn't just a young lover's thing. I was in Romania again last weekend. This time it was the tail end of celebrating Mărţişor - on the first of March women (usually young and single women I believe) receive a small gift of a jewel or a flower tied to a red and white string. Also that week was March 8th - International Women's Day - again more flowers are given. So that's three out of four weekends where women will receive some sort of floral based gift. Nice!

But here's the unusual thing. Women in Romania carry their flowers upside-down, that is, with the heads of the flowers facing down, and I mean right down, by their sides, arms straight down so the heads of the flowers are often barely above ground level. If you haven't seen this before, your initial thought is that perhaps the woman is somewhat nonplussed by the floral gift she has received and is therefore just looking for a convenient bin in which to chuck the bouquet. I asked about this and was told that it's actually considered a better way to carry flowers. Carrying them pointing upwards would run the risk of damaging the flowers, the heads may break off, or they could be crushed in a crowd. Held straight down, the flowers run the least risk of being damaged. On consideration, this seemed a perfectly reasonable explanation but it is still somewhat disconcerting (to a Western European like me) to see flowers being carried in what seems a rather contemptuous way.

1 comment:

sabrina said...

I am still waiting for the pictures young man!!!!!