Mothers’ Day: South Sudanese take to social media to shower mothers with love

Mothers’ Day: South Sudanese take to social media to shower mothers with love

South Sudanese both in and outside the country joined the world in celebrating Mothers’ Day yesterday—a day that marks the celebration of motherhood and acknowledges every mother’s efforts.

Like the rest of the world, South Sudanese took to Twitter and other social media accounts to celebrate this important day, leaving a trail of expressions of love for the mothers, aunts, and wives all put together, complete with accompanying photos.

In 1914, then US President Woodrow Wilson declared the second Sunday in May to be celebrated as Mother’s Day. The celebrations quickly spread beyond national borders and into other countries. The days, however, are different in various countries.

In South Sudan, Mother’s Day was celebrated yesterday, May 8. It is always celebrated on the second Sunday of May here.

Oryema James OJ, @JamesOryema1 using the hashtag #SSOT (South Sudan on Twitter) tweeted:

“Every mother in our village contributed to my upbringing. Today is a special day dedicated to honouring, celebrating and giving a thanks to you our mothers. May God continue to bless you and protect you.”

And to prove his point, he accompanied this with a picture of a traditional granary made of twigs and sticks that were being supported by happy-looking women.

Breezy DEN9, @_ABCDENG_ tweeted:

“We Are South Sudanese Not Because We Are Born In South Sudan But Because South Sudan Is Born In Us. SINGLE MOTHER SOLDIER!!”

Joseph Africano Bartel, @bartelafric tweeted:

“To my mum,  the mother of my kids and to all mothers out there, Happy mother’s day. Much love and respect! #SSOT”

The maternal bond is honoured in a variety of ways. Many people use Mother’s Day to strengthen their relationship with their moms; many people give their mothers gifts; many people strive to do something special with their mothers, such as preparing a cake or going on movie outings.

The day is commemorated to honour the existence of mothers and their significance in people’s lives. Mothers have different roles in our lives, from being a caregiver to becoming a protector, from being a friend to a mentor. This day is observed in more than 50 countries around the world.

The celebration of motherhood has long been a part of human history, but it was not until 1908 that the US established a day dedicated completely to mothers.

After her mother died in 1905, an American woman called Anna Jarvis wanted to set aside a day to honour the work and sacrifices made by mothers. As a result, she held the first formal Mother’s Day celebration in Grafton, West Virginia, in May 1908.

Soon after, it grew into a full-fledged movement, with Anna and her friends writing to prominent personalities in the US to demand that the day be declared a national holiday. By 1911, it had spread to every state in the country.

Different dates, same Mothers’ Day

The United Kingdom (UK) celebrated Mother’s Day earlier this year, so one might be confused to see people on social media paying tribute nearly two months later.

Mother’s Day 2022 fell on March 27 in the UK, with the date set by the celebration’s Christian foundations as Mothering Sunday.

It always takes place on the fourth Sunday in the festival of Lent, exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday.

Mother’s Day, which is now observed around the world, falls on 8 May, with almost 100 countries – including much of Europe, Africa and South America – following the American system.

Far fewer commemorate the fourth Sunday of Lent, although Nigeria joins the UK and Ireland in marking Mothering Sunday.

Other countries, including Russia, Vietnam and Afghanistan, commemorate mothers on International Women’s Day: 8 March.

Bolivia marks Mother’s Day on 27 May, the date of the Battle of La Coronilla, when women fighting for the country’s independence were slaughtered by the Spanish army in 1812.

Elsewhere, France – and many of its former colonies – celebrate mothers on the last Sunday of May, while Argentina marks “Dia de la Madre” on the third Sunday of October.

The origins of mothering The origins of Sunday lie in the Middle Ages when children who had left their families to work in domestic service were allowed to go to their home – or “mother” – church.

So initially, the “mothering” aspect of the occasion had no connection to the way mothers are celebrated today.

However, the journey home inevitably became an occasion for families to reunite, with the custom developing for children to pick flowers en route to give as a gift to their mothers.

The date took on a further celebratory air because it was traditionally an occasion for the fasting rules of Lent to be relaxed, allowing revellers a long-awaited feast.

Consequently, it also became known as Refreshment Sunday, Simnel Sunday (after the simnel cakes traditionally baked in celebration) and, most evocatively of all (and possibly only in Surrey): Pudding Pie Sunday.