This weekend we will be celebrating Mother’s Day. Unlike religious or national holidays, it is a day that brings the world together in a common and shared love of mothers. Each one of us has a mother or mother figure who spent a great deal of their life shaping us into the people we are today. No matter your mother nation or mother tongue, Mothers are worth celebrating.
But where did the term “mother tongue” come from?
To answer this we have to go back to a time when mothers were the sole source of information on customs, traditions and languages. While in the western world this means going back before the 19th century in many places around the world mothers are still the only ones performing these roles.
Before the public schooling system took root in society, children, from infants to adolescence, spent almost all of their time with their mothers. It was during this time with their mothers that children learned all they needed to be a functioning member of their society including cultural identity, language, laws and other societal norms. During these developmental years mothers were the most important members of their communities because without them children would learn how to be a part of the larger family unit.
The term Mother tongue stems from the fact that, for a large part of human history, mothers were the teachers of one of the most incredible advancements in our species development, language. It was because of that fact that we could come together as a species and communicate ideas and thoughts which created a collective knowledge pool which helped us create the amazing things that we have today.
While the role of mothers has changed over the many years, one thing hasn’t changed: All Mothers are amazing. So when you are celebrating your mother, grandmother or mother figure this weekend and what they have done for you, also remember that our world is full of mothers and they are each worth celebrating whether they played a part in your life or not.