On the observance’s eve on March 7, the activists started handing out flowers to women in Times Square while a giant LED screen at the square was displaying a white-blue-red outline of Russia’s map with a ‘From Russia With Love’ motto.
According to Kirill Timonin, one of the affair’s organizers, the event was prepared by a group of Russian nationals living in NYC who wanted to congratulate ladies on International Women’s Day in style and to promote a positive image of Russia.
Times Square right now:#MakeHerSmile once in a while☺️— Khloe Irving (@HiImKhloe) 8 марта 2017 г.
He added that many women were surprised when they were given flowers by complete strangers, as such gestures aren’t exactly common in the United States.
"It’s quite unusual and unexpected for them. Girls rarely get flowers for free, especially in Times Square, simply because they (girls) exist," Tomonin remarked.
Men distribute flowers in #timessquare for #IWD2017 #MakeHerSmile pic.twitter.com/quenh9YpcJ— Caleb T. Maupin (@calebmaupin) 7 марта 2017 г.
This event became the first of its kind to be held in the United States, and activists are already planning to hold similar events during next year’s International Women’s Day in several other cities across the country.
Today women were gifted flowers in Times Square #MakeHerSmile @nytimes @nypost @Gothamist @NYMag @NYDailyNews pic.twitter.com/3rd9HsnJfT— Chris Wells (@c__wells) 7 марта 2017 г.
The same event took place in Paris and Berlin, where activists surprised women on the streets with flowers.