Mother’s Day around the world

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Yoni and her Mother from Albania (Yoni)
Yoni Koçillari stands with her mother, Adriana, from Albania. (Yoni)

In Albania they call her nënë. In France she is mère. Here we call her mom.

A mother is a special part of every culture. With the unique roles moms play, it’s no wonder that every country has found unique ways to celebrate her. Although not every country this year will celebrate mothers on May 8, each culture has found their own distinctive ways to show mothers a little extra love and appreciation.

In Indonesia, the official Mother’s Day takes place on December 22. However, according to Taradita Subiantoro, a student from Jakarta, Indonesia, this day is not nearly celebrated as much as April 21, a holiday known as Kartini’s day. On April 21, all women are specially celebrated for their various achievements. Mothers are invited to schools, where various activities, games and events occur. People dress in traditional clothing and perform an assortment of dances and celebrations; all are meant to recognize women.

In Jordan, Mother’s Day is a big family event. “We go out to eat dinner — the whole family, maybe with mothers, grandmothers and aunts. And we usually give gifts to each one of them,” said Hani Abu-Hmeidan, a student from Amman, Jordan.

Yoni Koçillan, from Durrés, Albania, says Mother’s Day is a little different in her home country, as people go out and dance to both traditional and folk music. “Dancing is a big deal,” Koçillan said.

A commonality all across the world, however, is the standard of gift-giving. In France, kids make crafts from school and bring it home to their moms. “I feel like maybe in Indonesia, good grades — that’s what you give to parents,” said Subiantoro.

In Albania, a special flower called mimosas are often bought. In Jordan, “it depends on the family,” said Abu-Hmeidan. “I always send her a handbag by mail or some flowers or chocolates.”

While each country may celebrate Mother’s Day a little bit different, the thought behind each of them is the same. It is a special time to honor an exceptional group of women. “What would we be without them?” asked Michael Bush, a French professor at BYU. “Not much.”

As you go about celebrating Mother’s Day this year, remember the sacrifices a mother made for you. Remember how she rocked you back to sleep after every nightmare. Remember the tears she dried and the fevers she calmed. Lastly, remember her unceasing love, gentle encouragement and unspoken prayers.

“The heavens are under the feet of mothers,” Abu-Hmeidan said.

So this Mother’s Day, take the time to show a little extra love and appreciation.

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