This Mother’s Day, let’s learn from other cultures how best to show our love and gratitude to the women who, with blood, sweat and tears, gave us the gift of life. Let’s raise a glass of Mother’s Ruin to these phenomenal women who, without condition or reservation, love us more than the sun, moon and stars.
There is no force in the world quite like an Italian mamma. She is strictly forbidden from doing any housework on Festa Della Mamma, and is presented with a heart-shaped cake as a token of her family’s adoration.
The mother is the foundation of the family in the Philippines, and is honoured with the colloquial title ilaw ng tahanan, which translates as ‘light of the home’.
In the 1800s, as the nation struggled for its independence from Spain, the women of Bolivia rose up to defend their homes. Manuela Gandarillas, despite being blind and elderly, gathered together a group of women who became known as Heroinas de la Coronilla. Every Mother’s Day, Bolivians remember their bravery and sacrifice.
Known as Haha no Hi, Mother’s Day in Japan was initially created to celebrate Empress Kojan’s birthday. Nowadays, the islands’ children give their mothers red carnations, which symbolise sweetness and strength.
Did your mum tuck you in with lullabies when you were small? On Dia de Las Madres in Mexico, mothers wake to the sweet sound of their loved ones singing the song ‘Las Mananitas’. All over the country, sons and daughters croon “Awaken, my dear, awaken and see that the day has dawned. Now the little birds are singing and the moon has set.”
Every year on Queen Sirikit’s birthday, motherhood is celebrated across the country. The delicate, fragrant flower jasmine, known as dok mali in Thai, is a traditional gift used to express love to a mother.
Autumn brings the end of the rainy season in Ethiopia. As the clouds clear, Ethiopian mothers are honoured with the three-day Antrosht festival. An elaborate feast is prepared by their daughters and sons, followed by dancing, singing and storytelling.
Down under, our Aussie cousins give their mothers bundles of chrysanthemums, often simply called ‘mums’, to celebrate Mother’s Day!
In Nepal, the festival of Aama Ko Mukh Herne Din is celebrated. It literally translates as ‘to see mother’s face’, and people travel far and wide to see their mums!