Celebrating International Women’s Day With Italian Flair
The Italian Cultural & Community Center (ICCC) partnered with San Pellegrino Italian Sparkling Drinks and Acqua Panna to celebrate International Women’s Day with Italian flair on Thursday, March 10, 2022.
The ICCC commemorated strong women around the world by filling the Milford House with beautiful mimosa flower arrangements. The mimosa flower is one of the symbolic flowers associated with International Women’s Day, also known as Festa Della Donna in Italy.
San Pellegrino Italian Sparkling Drinks and Acqua Panna sponsored the exclusive event by providing endless bottles of Italy’s finest water for guests to enjoy. There was also an array of Tony’s Houston’s delicious hors d’oeuvres in rotation, served by their friendly catering staff.
For enrichment and entertainment, our friend and University of Houston Professor D’Alessandro Behr enlightened the guests with a short presentation about Italian women’s history. She highlighted some notable Italian women, including Teresa Mattei and Nilde Iotti, who helped progress women’s rights throughout the years. In fact, Mattei was one of Italy’s first women in Italian politics responsible for making the mimosa flower the symbol of Women’s Day in 1946.
Her presentation was followed by two talented musical artists. Amanda Pascali filled the Milford House ballroom with her angelic voice as she sang Italian folk music. She began her performance with a Sicilian song by Rosa Balistreri (1927-1990). In 1967, Balistreri revoluntionized Italy with a guitar and her voice. She was the first Italian woman to denounce social inequality through music. Her iconic, hoarse voice brought songs about Sicily’s jarring poverty in the 20th century to the forefront of Italian folk music in the 1960s. The audience enjoyed listening to Pascali so much so that some guests bought Pascali’s CD on their way out of the event! Thank you Amanda Pascali for spending your evening with us celebrating creative women like yourself. Follow Amanda Pascali on Instagram here.
The marvelous evening ended with a performance by MiaRose Hanberry, a University of Houston opera singer student. She ended the night by singing three operas, all of which were loved and adored by the audience. Thank you MiaRose Hanberry for delighting us with your talent! Follow MiaRose Hanberry on Instagram here.
The ICCC would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who joined to celebrate the strong, courageous women that inspire us. We would also like to thank our special guests: Professor D’Alessandro Behr, MiaRose Hanberry and Amanda Pascali. We would like to thank Tony’s Houston, the legendary high end Italian eatery, for catering the event and Julian Cavazos for capturing the wonderful evening through beautiful photos. We would like to extend the biggest thank you to San Pellegrino Italian Sparkling Drinks and Acqua Panna for sponsoring the event and making sure none of the guests left the event parched. We are so grateful for your support!
International Women’s Day is a United Nations sanctioned day of observance on March 8 that celebrates and honors women’s contributions to society. In Italy, this holiday is known as La Festa Della Donna (Women’s Day). The first Women’s Day was celebrated March 8, 1945, thanks to Unione Donne d’Italia (UDI). It is tradition to gift a woman a mimosa bud or small bouquet on this day. The yellow flower, which blooms at this time of year, is a universal symbol that expresses female solidarity. The flower appears as a delicate flower, but it is resistant and strong as it can grow anywhere, even in harsh environments. It was introduced as a powerful symbol in 1946. Gifting a mimosa flower or bouquet is not considered a romantic gesture but one of unanimity. It originated in Italy but has spread across the globe. In 1977, the UN established an International Women’s Day.
Festa Della Donna was a free, exclusive event for ICCC members only. Click here to become a member and get member-only access, as well as reduced rates on most of our events!