You might be wondering why am I talking about Mother’s Day in December. But it is on every December 22nd since 1938. In Indonesia, that is. Mother’s Day, the Indonesian version is so different with the American version with celebration like taking your mother to a fancy restaurant or giving her a card or some flowers. The history behind the celebration of Mother’s Day every December 22nd was the first Indonesian Women Congress that was held from December 22nd – 25th in 1928 in Yogyakarta. Coincidentally, I was helping my son with his book report about Susan B. Anthony,one of the person behind the women’s movement for equal rights in United States. Mother’s Day in Indonesia was about that too, and much more reasons.
Inspired by the women’s involvement in the war battles during the 19th century when Indonesia was still occupied by Dutch, some women organizations held their first and important meeting in 1928. Without distinctly asking for equal rights, women in those day already thought about the future of women over all. They wanted to establish a better life for women, especially for mothers and children, to get involved in all aspects of the nation’s development, to improve women’s conditions and their chances (in education, for example) and to get involved in the fight of the nation’s independence. Indonesia was occupied by Ducth for 350 years and fought in a very rigorous revolution to establish its own independence on August 17th, 1945.
Now you know how important it is Mother’s Day to all Indonesian women, including me. My mother used to tell me about how my grandmother was busy most of the time with her works in social matters and the women’s movement. “She always had meetings”, my mother said. Maybe when she was little she wouldn’t understand that what my grandmother did was for her and me (and my three sisters). Because it’s not always easy being a woman. Even in today’s world of equal rights, some women don’t have the very best chance to be one. To add to this journal, a quote from Susan B. Anthony:
“Oh, if I could but live another century and see the fruition of all the work for women! There is so much yet to be done.”
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!