Holiday Tradition

Patricia Newman – Mother’s Day Tradition

In Tijuana, Mexico, my Mother and her friends had a tradition that they kept every Mother’s day. Every night before Mother’s 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 people’s homes. Once they arrived, they would climb fences, hop walls, and find their way to their respective mother’s bedroom window. Here they would all begin playing and singing “Las Mananitas,” but modified for Mother’s 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 Mother’s day with her friends and family.

Mexican’s are well-known for their dedication and respect to their families. Sadly, some Mexican’s are even violent to protect their family’s name. The importance that Mexican’s 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 Mother’s 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 family’s relationships over a longer period of time than if nothing is done to promote relations amongst family members.