Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, May 8, 2015

Mother's Day 2015

With Mother's Day just around the corner, I am thinking of my 91 year-old mom. I've always been my mom's favourite child and she is the queen of my heart.
Born in the 1920s, Mom was very different from the very traditional Asian mothers of  her time. While most women of that era were housewives who couldn't drive  and were illiterate, Mom was a nurse, had her own car and English educated. I remember beaming with pride whenever she drove me to school. And she was quite the dancer too. She could waltz and tango. She really rocked the Foxtrot! Me? I have two left feet!
Although considered very untraditional, Mom was and still is very Asian in her ways. And like many Asian families, big hugs and praises were not openly displayed and given in our family when we were growing up.

I recall the time when my cousin was leaving for college in Australia. At the airport. her conservative mom just gave her a mere handshake and wished her the best! No hugs. No kisses. Isn't that sad?

My boys, on the other hand, are complaining that I am overly demonstrative and are constantly embarrassed by my generous hugs! Such an outward display of affection is met with disapproval by my mom-in-law. "You should always love your kids from the inside or they will grow up spoilt", she reminds me every now and then.

I may be open with my boys but my sisters and I are still challenged by the awkward PDE (public displays of emotion) policy with my parents.  With my parents' days numbered, I am hugging them more but still find it very uncomfortable and awkward especially with my dad.

Here's a very uplifting video on things Asian parents say/do in place of "I love you".
Ha! Like most Asians, we are very proficient in reading cryptic gestures like  mom picking the last piece of meat with her chopsticks and putting in on your plate at dinner. Or Dad staying up until the wee hours of the morning until he heard the sound of the key turning in the door, assured that you were safely home from a party before he silently went to bed. It meant "I love you"!

As blogger Cindy writes, “Chinese families know how to love fiercely. They do it through immense generosity, unwavering loyalty, and a lot of food. We love differently, not better, not worse, but definitely different.”
Happy Mother's Day, Pallies!


  1. Happy Mother's Day, Veronica! Your mother sounds wonderful! I am so glad that she is still alive and you are able to spend time with her, including her hugs :)

    She did sound very progressive for the times, but good for her that she ventured forward and didn't get stuck in "molds" if you know what I mean.

    It is interesting with other cultures with raising children. We always hugged and said "I love you" all the time, leaving for the day, going to sleep, hanging up from the phone, etc. Hubby's parents were less demonstrative with their hugs, etc. Hubby decided to start ending phone conversations with "love you" to them and they were caught off guard but eventually started saying "love you" back to him. Same with hugs.

    Whatever you do, I hope you have a nice Mother's Day!

    Adorable cookies :)


  2. Thank you for dropping by my blog! I'm trying to be a consistent blogger :) Great post, enjoyed reading it.

  3. i come from a family who loves to hug.. and my boys are all about hugging too.. for now. but i had friends who would see my overly affectionate family and would be amazed..

  4. Happy Mother's Day to you. Your Mom sounds like a strong lady!

  5. Happy belated Mother's Day to you and your mom. The video is def. food for thought. I've never specifically thought about it, but we do hug a lot in our culture. :)

  6. It's funny us Asians but I think this generation is different. We give hugs to our kids but then my mom says that we are spoiling them by hugging them. I guess we're different from them now!

  7. I love this story. Happy belated Mother's Day! Hope you spend many more with your mom. Thanks for linking up at Thursday Favorite Things!