M is a 20-year-old black woman. She is currently double majoring in NGO’s and Social Change and Communications at the University of Southern California. M grew up in Boston, MA but currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. M primarily speaks English, but she is also fluent in Spanish.
M: My mom always gets the day off and we always go to the Lilac Festival on Mother’s day, ’cause it happens at the same time.
M: It’s like, we have the Arboretum in Boston, and there’s like, all these lilacs get planted and they all bloom like almost, like on command on Mother’s day. So, when we were kids, my dad would always take us to the Arboretum and give my mom the day to herself.
Me: But now your mom goes with you?
M: Hmm? Oh, yeah.
Mother’s day definitely means a good deal to M and her family. They have an annual tradition that they go to the Lilac Festival at the Arboretum in Boston every year to celebrate the day. Though the tradition has changed a small bit from giving their mother the day to herself to having he come long with them, it is still a good way to celebrate her and she still gets a nice day of relaxation. It is common to just send your mother a card and or gift to celebrate the day, but M and her siblings carry on the tradition of spending the day with their mom and showing her their appreciation by reserving the day for her, even after they have moved out.
In Tijuana, Mexico, my Mother and her friends had a tradition that they kept every Mothers day. Every night before Mothers day, my mother and a group of her girlfriends would sneak out the house, bring their acoustic guitars, saxophones, tambourines, or whatever musical instrument they played and gather at a central place in the neighborhood. After all her friends convened in one location they would then go to every one of the peoples homes. Once they arrived, they would climb fences, hop walls, and find their way to their respective mothers bedroom window. Here they would all begin playing and singing Las Mananitas, but modified for Mothers Day. Las Mananitas is a common song that is sung at most Mexican birthday parties. So anyone growing up in Mexico would immediately recognize the tune and understand what the occasion was. Where my Mom grew up, it was also a commonality for the other children throughout the city to perform this tradition for their Mothers. She also said that this same tradition is performed all over Mexico as well.
As far as my Mother knew, this tradition is only two generations old in her local neighborhood. She did not know where her parents learned this tradition. She was unable to contact her parents to find out. But what she does remember is that her Mother told her that she did not start doing this tradition until her teenage years. So by a terminus post quem analysis, I can deduce that if my great-grand-parents had begun this tradition then my grandmother would have started when she was a young child rather than a teenager because she would have known about it earlier in her life. Apart from this uncertainty, my Mother performed this tradition with her friends from the moment they were capable of playing instruments together. It was around the age of eight or nine. She was adept at playing the guitar and piano at a very young age. On top of that, she enjoyed performing for her Mother and celebrating Mothers day with her friends and family.
Mexicans are well-known for their dedication and respect to their families. Sadly, some Mexicans are even violent to protect their familys name. The importance that Mexicans and other Hispanics allocate to their families cannot be surpassed by much. Perhaps the only thing of greater importance would be religion. However, I think this is why a tradition such as this Mothers day event is so prominent in Mexican society and culture and not that relevant here in America. Statistically, we do not place as much importance or efforts into maintaining our family relationships as Hispanics do. From cultural research on Latino nations, it is easy to understand how Hispanic families maintain close connections and relationships with their families over the generations. Close family ties and frequent performed traditions will holistically improve familys relationships over a longer period of time than if nothing is done to promote relations amongst family members.