Archive for March, 2009

Happy Girl’s Square Root Day!

March 3, 2009

Today is Girl’s Day, a venerable Japanese celebration that I learned about from Maki’s Just Hungry website.  Maki reposted a lovely piece about Girl’s Day, and about two kinds of sushi that are typically eaten to celebrate, and which fit nicely into bento boxes.  I am pleased with any opportunity to make special feast food, and I like girls!  I like a whole lot of girls, in fact.   It’s also Square Root Day today, and I think it’s just perfect to celebrate the two in tandem –geeky girl day!  Here’s the lunch I made:

Four hamaguri-zushi, two temari zushi (under the star-fruit strawberries), cucumber sticks clasping an umeboshi, a passionfruit bowl filled with passionfruit, steamed asparagus, and a little stack of star-fruit with a radish (root) cut as square as I could manage.

Four hamaguri-zushi, two temari zushi (under the star-fruit strawberries), cucumber sticks clasping an umeboshi, a passionfruit bowl filled with passionfruit, steamed asparagus, and a little stack of star-fruit with a radish (root) cut as perfectly square as I could possibly manage.

Square Root Day is a much more contemporary holiday which celebrates any day when both the day of the month and the month are the square root of the last two digits of the year.  Though I’m not a skilled practitioner of mathematics, I do appreciate and admire mathematics and mathematicians.  I carved a radish, which is a root vegetable, into as perfect a square as I could, and then I ate the square root, and as I did so, I imagined an afterlife in which Hypatia of Alexandria, Ada Lovelace, Maria Gaetana Agnesi, Emmy Noether, Sophie Germain, Sofia Kovalevskaya, Rózsa Péter, Julia Robinson, Olga Taussky-Todd, Émilie du ChâteletMary Cartwright,and Meg Murry sit around a table –chatting, laughing, arguing, gossiping, playing San Juan and drinking lemonade, beer, and Laphroaig.  Yep.

So, back to Girl’s Day.  The history of the Japanese celebration is tied up in social and cultural expectations and hopes that parents had for their daughters.  I expect that in the past many parents hoped that their daughter would make a happy and successful marriage, and undoubtedly some parents wish the same today.  But I can’t help but think that parents throughout history, and certainly today, have a broader range of hope for what their daughters might achieve.  Here’s hoping that parents around the globe are dreaming of their daughters becoming authors and astronauts and organic pig farmers and professors and painters, that these parents are hoping that they are raising loving girls and women, fiesty free-spirited saucy daughters, revolutionary and bold daughters!

Here are some of my favorite girls, in no particular order: Birthe, Karen, Min, Karrie, Giselle, Kate, Jane, Tara and her evil twin Dawn, Mesa, Carolyn, Anaan, Eclipse, Marzia, Julie, Rosie, Sylvia, Meg Murry, Maki, Lucy, Lyra, Mia, Elizabeth, Shannon, Becky, kt, Nora, Mush, Nora, Roanne, Amy, Octavia, Madeleine, Deb, Angelina, Zoe, Céline, Rebecca, Diane, Cici, Rachel, Anne, Nina, Pim, Lee-Ellen, Kerrie, Kerry, Sarah, Marcie, Francesca, Vibeke, Elise, Molly, Melinda, Theresa, Shae, Ellen, Kendra, Priscilla, Miss Darling, Emma, Gwen, Tonya, Jackie, Gerry, Maxime, and that nice lady at the Mobil station.

Enjoy your girls!

Advertisements