“The Image of a Mother Plays an Important Role in Our Lives”: Mother’s Day Is Celebrated in Russia

Mother is the most important word for every one of us, and so is the person behind it. In many countries of the world there are special days dedicated to mothers. Svetlana Krivonogova, Associate Professor, Candidate of Sciences (History), Head of the Department of Russian and International History of the Institute of Media, Social Sciences and Humanities at South Ural State University, spoke about the history of the Mother’s Day holiday in Russia and its relevance in the modern world.

Since ancient times mothers have been revered all over the world. Ancient Greeks, ancient Romans (who worshipped Kibela, the mother of gods), Anglo-Saxons, Celtic, and other peoples, all have been practicing that. Moreover, if we look at international modern traditions, we will see that Mother’s Day is celebrated in all countries. We know the history of the American Mother’s Day, British Mother’s Day, they go back to the end of the 19th century. In Russia, a special date is also set for this holiday.

Speaking about the history of this day and analysing the press of the Soviet period, we find information that this holiday was celebrated for the first time at School No. 228 in Baku at the initiative of a teacher of Russian Language and Literature Elmira Huseynova at the end of the 1980s. On Mother’s Day, an appeal was made to all Soviet school pupils with a call to make the holiday an annual one.

Mother’s Day in Russia was officially established on January 30, 1998 when the first President of the Russian Federation Boris Yeltsin signed an official decree. The decree was very brief: “In order to increase the social significance of motherhood, I resolve to: establish a holiday, Mother’s Day, and celebrate it on the last Sunday of November.”

This holiday was established in Russia at the initiative of the State Duma Committee on Women, Family and Youth Affairs, that is, the people for whom the protection of motherhood, childhood and preservation of family values was important, especially when the practice of revering mothers, which had existed in the Soviet Union, unfortunately, interrupted, during the first years of history of the Russian Federation.

The decree reflected the need, to some extent, to revive the tradition of protecting motherhood. If we touch upon state awards as state recognition of the value of motherhood, then the Order of Parental Glory, which is aimed at supporting family traditions and values in our country, was introduced in 2008. Today we can say that Russia continues to actively develop in this direction. In 2014, the Concept of State Family Policy in the Russian Federation until 2025 was adopted.

Residents of our country are defined by a special feature: through the image of a mother, we tend to live and feel much deeper things. “Our mother earth...”, “Mother Volga...”, “Mother-Land...” And for us, Mother’s Day is not just a family holiday, an opportunity to thank our mothers. This is also a significant holiday on a national scale, because through motherhood as an understanding of belonging to a clan, to a country, to a small homeland, we also form a sense of patriotism, respect for the country where you were born and which gives you a lot.

The image of a mother also plays an important role as an image of self-sacrifice, boundless love for her children, and readiness to give them the best. And for modern Russia this is very significant since it serves as the basis for understanding the unity of generations, respect for our ancestors, on whose shoulders we stand like on a springboard and make our breakthrough forward.

The dynamics of the emergence and activity of public organizations, as a manifestation of civil society, illustrate the fact that mothers always react sharply to all problems existing in society: “Soldiers’ Mothers”, “Mothers against Drugs”. Mothers, even intuitively, may realize the dangers that threaten their children way before the society does.

Our congratulations to all mothers on this holiday! 

Анастасия Косочева
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