Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day & A Bit of History

How do you say mother?

So how do you say mother? I always ask my friends from other parts of the world this question. It is amazing how the pronunciation sounds are usually similar no matter the language. Everyone who has had kids remembers their little one making beginning sounds like ma-ma-ma-ma. Other earlier sounds in my home were ba-ba-ba which means dad in Greek and pa-pa-pa which means dad in Spanish. As a teacher, I reflected on the experience and wondered, what version of mother would my kids choose? Growing up in a Greek, Spanish, English speaking home has its interesting results. The Greeks call their mother's - mitera or they use mamá for short just like the Spanish version. I grew up calling my mom, mami, and I still do. It is a euphemism of mother like saying mommy. The Salvadorians I grew up with will usually use this term of endearment to talk about their mom. Even though English has become the primary language in my home, my boys chose to use the Spanish version of mom and dad. To hear the correct sounds for how to say the versions of mom I listed above like mami, or mamá click on the words or you can chose other languages by going to This very neat website will pronounce words for you in many languages. Definitely worth bookmarking, plus, they also allow you to add words and pronounce them. I would love to hear how you say mother? Please comment below.

When Do Other Parts of the World Celebrate Mother's Day?

El Salvador: May 10

Canada: Second Sunday of May (May 10, 2009, May 9, 2010)

Greece: February 2

There are so many dates it would be hard to list so I will let you check out Wiki's Mother's Day Date chart. In my home, I have to be conscious of the dates I've listed. Greece, Canada, and El Salvador are all countries where we have relatives and more importantly mothers, so we need to call on these dates. Calling them on the American date, I have learned, means nothing to them. They just politely say thank you and remind me to call them back on the right day.

Where Does the American Mother's Day Come From?

Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia is credited with thinking up Mother’s Day. Jarvis convinced her mother's church to celebrate Mother's Day on the anniversary of her mother's death, the second Sunday in May 1908, and campaigned for a national day honoring mothers.
"Though never a mother herself, Founder of Mother's Day, Anna Jarvis is today recognised as the 'Mother of Mothers Day'. An apt title to define the remarkable woman's ceaseless devotion to her mother and motherhood in general." Anna Jarvis' story>>

Mother's Day Around the World

The Mother's Day holiday we celebrate today is relatively modern. It was initiated, as I stated above, in the early 20th century. Early pagan and Christian societies honored mother's on a special day too. For example in the 16th century Mothering Sunday was celebrated in the Ancient Greek's had a festival called the Cybele. During this festival they celebrated the great mother of the Greek gods. They held this festival around the Vernal Equinox. Rome also celebrated a similar festival called the Ides of March15 March to 18 MarchThe ancient Romans also had another holiday dedicated to Juno and mothers were usually given gifts on this day.


Whatever part of the world you are in and whatever date you celebrate Mother's Day I wish you a very Happy and Special Mother's Day! My little guys made my day extra special by bringing me breakfast in bed. A bagel with gobs of grape jelly, orange juice and an expired yogurt that was all served on a make shift tray. They got up before we did and did it all on their own. They then set little notes all over the house with treats. There are still a few hidden treats I haven't found yet. I wonder where they will show up? They are so sweet!


Last Treat of the Day!



  1. Thanks for commenting on my blog. In Haitian Creole, we say manman for mother.

  2. What a great post about mothers day. A friend of mine asked me if they celebrate it in China and I said of course they do. We researched it a bit and was really surprised to see ALL the countries that do, indeed, celebrate it. Oh, BTW, I always called my mother: mama.

  3. Thank you for commenting and for posting how you say mom. : )

  4. What a great and interesting post. You're one great mom! I'm so glad we're pals...
    In the Philippines, they celebrate Mother's Day, too . I guess it's a Hallmark holiday!

    We say "nanay" in Tagalog and in Jewish we say "ima"

  5. Hey girlfriend, I forgot to tell you...come by the site and pick up your One Lovely Blog Award!

  6. Thanks for dropping by my blog. Hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day! Your blog is very neat. Will be checking back again.


Thanks for following my posts. Feel free to ask questions too...

Related Posts with Thumbnails