Voices from Russia

Friday, 27 November 2009

Congrats to Mums and Grandmas: 29 November is Mother’s Day

Filed under: domestic life,Russian,social life and customs — 01varvara @ 00.00

A Mother Tucking Children into Bed (Norman Rockwell, 1921)

In Russia, we celebrate Mother’s Day on 29 November. On this day, we pass on our good wishes to mothers and pregnant women. There is a real significance for this holiday; we should pay tribute to all women, because they are why life continues on this planet. In 1998, Mother’s Day became an official holiday on the initiative of several female Deputies of the RF Gosduma. After President Boris Yeltsin signed a decree, we now celebrate Mother’s Day annually on the last Sunday in November. Of course, most Russians are more familiar with another holiday honouring women, International Women’s Day on 8 March.

Nobody would argue with the fact that Mother’s Day is, perhaps, the oldest holiday on Earth, because the tradition of honouring our mothers goes back to the very genesis of the human race. Indeed, it exists in some form in almost all countries. In the USA, since 1907, the second Sunday in May marks Mother’s Day, and, since 1914, it has been an official holiday. Finland, Estonia, and the Ukraine also use that date for Mother’s Day. There are different dates in many countries for this celebration. In Bahrain, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates, Mother’s Day is 10 May, and in Greece, it is 9 May.

No doubt, our mother is the most important person in our life. What does being a mother mean to a woman? I decided to ask Moscow women of different ages what they felt on the matter.

“It’s both passionate love and demanding work”, said thirty-something Larissa, the mother of three children, the eldest of whom is ten years-old and her youngest is only five months-old.

Marianna, forty-something and the mother of a son, also believes that the main thing needful is love, and, yet, she says, a mom must learn to understand and to forgive. “First of all, of course, you anticipate your child and love him, even though he’s not born yet. The first feelings that you sense when he’s born are kindness and tenderness. You try to raise him in such a way that he grows up to be a good and noble man. Then, you begin to understand that being a mum… it means being able to forgive. Yes… you forgive often. Ah, of course, you must love, always love. Love is the most important thing”, she said.

Fifty-something Irina has a son and a daughter. She said simply that being a mum, in her opinion, means that she’s a happy person.

The Russian state supports mothers in their hard work. Since 1 January 2007, Russia has implemented a special state programme to aid mothers. A woman who gives birth to or adopts a second child receives a state grant, the so-called “mother’s capital”. The amount issued undergoes annual review. If there is inflation, the allowance goes up. This year, it amounted to 300,000 roubles (10,198 USD 6,810 euros 6,180 UK pounds). However, to use the money, the mother must wait until the child turns three years-old.

27 November 2009

Tatiana Filippova

Voice of Russia World Service

http://rus.ruvr.ru/2009/11/27/2429781.html

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