A mother's love may be universal, but the way people celebrate across the globe is not. SAMVITHA RAM takes a walk around the world…

A mother is a faithful caretaker, a helpful friend and a never-ending cheerleader. Though many youngsters agree that mothers should be thanked every day for their dedication and commitment to bringing joy in our lives, unfortunately there is only one day a year that is truly celebrated in their honour: Mother's Day. On this day, each family chooses its own way to show appreciation and love for mothers. What's interesting is that this day is not celebrated in the same way or even on the same day across different countries. Let's take a quick walk around the globe to see how various cultures give back to their beloved mothers!

Australia

Celebrated on the second Sunday of May, Mother's Day is traditionally observed by wearing a carnation. A white carnation specially symbolises honour and respect for one's deceased mother. Children also make their mother's breakfast and gift them small home-made cards or a small bouquet of flowers.

France

Here, Mother's Day falls on the last Sunday of May, and is usually celebrated by baking a small cake for their mothers. Children and families may choose to buy or get their mothers flowers.

Mexico

The Mexicans celebrate Mother's Day on a set date, May 10. Children dress up in colourful clothes and the entire family goes for a special mass organised by churches across the country, where mothers are served tamales and/or atole.

U.K.

The special day falls on the fourth Sunday in the month of Lent. In the U.K., the tradition of Mother's Day started in the 17th century, much before it was celebrated in other countries as the commercialised holiday we now know it to be. The day was originally known as “Mothering Sunday”. Though times have changed, it is still considered appropriate to bake a special, rich almond cake, known as a “Mothering Cake” or “Simnel Cake” on this day. Though the day might consist of different forms of celebrations in different parts of the world, the sentiment remains the same…. To moms everywhere, you are much needed and greatly loved! I think Mother's Day is a great way to celebrate the people who went through the trouble of delivering you. I guess I can just say that I am celebrating the day this year. I don't particularly think that Mother's Day is commercialised. I don't even know what that word “commercialised” means. Is anyone going around screaming that Diwali is too commercialised?

Words don't do justice to how I feel about my mother, but I guess the one thing that I admire about her is that she goes so out of her way for me. She loves me unconditionally.

From our hearts…

I think Mother's Day is a beautiful time to tell your mother just how much she means to you and how much you love her and need her. I agree that this should be on a constant basis, but this day gives you an opportunity to really display your feelings. But I think it has become quite commercialised. I know I'm contradicting myself, but the thing is that moms don't really need a formal “I love you”, but doing something everyday might prove impossible, so this day is essential to make your mom feel special.

Ashok Rao

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My mom is a karate tutor but the most admirable aspect is her infinite strength, patience, her ability to make strong decisions, and her support ... I love you, mom!

Kaustub Narendran

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Frankly a day, or even the rest of my life, is just not enough to celebrate ma and her mamta (mother's love), but it still is a special day for the special woman in my life. I gleefully exploit this opportunity to atone for my sins, pun intended. As a business student I know that nothing in this economic world can survive if it isn't profitable. If people feel Mother's Day is too commercialised it is most probably because of the market demand. Also there are many of us who like to buy that unique gift for just such an occasion. My mother's zeal, determination and practicality are always inspiring (okay, at times irritating) but the one fact that I totally love about her is the tireless hard work and passion she puts in her endeavours, be it at office, home or while making my yummy food.

Swetha Rakhecha

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To my own mother… You're my number one biggest fan and I love you for that. You have the eternal patience to listen to my endless rants and you are my sounding board for all my ‘big' ideas. Thank you for being both my “punching bag” and my best friend.

Samvitha Ram

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Busy school and college schedules make us forget mom's importance and how much they give up for us; that's why this day is so important. A day that should be as important as our own birthdays, I think. Yes it is too commercialised, but that's just how almost everything is these days. Valentine's Day, Mother's Day... all these have become business opportunities. It's horrible that occasions that are meant to be about emotions and gratitude become methods for making money. One thing I love about my mom is that she always supports me, no matter what trouble I get into. She's very honest about what she feels; whether she believes I can do something or thinks that it's unrealistic.

Abhimanyu Sridhar

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Mother's Day is important to me because we are reminded every year about how important and needed mothers are in this world. As to the commercialisation of Mother's Day, I personally feel that it doesn't affect our feelings, and that it should be celebrated with love and joy. To my mother, I just want to say: You are a very strong woman, and you would go to the end of the world to support your loved ones… for this I'm very grateful!

Pratika Yashaswi

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Celebs Say….

Soha Ali Khan, actor

I have just made a commitment to learn how to play the piano, as this has been one of my mother's most long-standing wishes and one I failed to fulfil in my youth! As a part of Mother's Day P&G initiative they have helped me make that dream into a reality and I have started my classes!

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Vishal, actor

I believe in my mom. And I also know that between family and other commitments what she really needs is a holiday; one day off from everything she does. She needs to be taken care of and fussed about. And that's what I'll do this Mother's Day. May be, take her out for dinner. I really appreciate her for keeping us all grounded and sane. She taught us not to get carried away during good times and not to get bogged down during bad times. The one thing we keep making fun of her is the fact that heights make her sick. My siblings and I just cannot understand how an ex-airhostess can be so afraid of heights!

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Jiiva, actor

My mom is very supportive, a strong and an honest woman. For me every day is special and every day is a celebration of her. But I also admit that, with our busy schedule, we forget to appreciate all that they do for us. So even if I don't really make it very obvious by celebrating Mother's Day, I do make her realise that I am what I am because of her. And of course, I will start the day by wishing her!

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Dia Mirza

For a person like me who has never celebrated special days be it Valentines Day or Friendship Day, somehow Mother's Day has always been an exception only because it’s our mother we are talking about. They love it when we make them feel special or tell them how much they mean to us. I have always celebrated this day with my mother and we think of fun things to do. I love writing letters to her and also love receiving letters from her. These are some things I will cherish in the years to come.

As told to ARCHANA SUBRAMANIAN

Keywords: Mother's Day

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