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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Hong Kong Series at CantoneseClass101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind holidays and observances in Hong Kong. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 9. Mother's Day, or 母親節 in Cantonese.
In Hong Kong, Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. Hong Kong people express their love and respect for their mothers in a variety of simple ways.
Now, before we get into more detail, I've got a question for you- Do you know the song about a mother's love that is most famous in Hong Kong?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later, so keep listening!
The most common way to celebrate Mother’s Day is to treat your mother and if married, your mother in law. In Cantonese, “mother” is 媽媽, and “mother-in-law” is 外母 or 奶奶. On Mother’s Day, Hong Kong people usually take their mothers or mothers-in-law out for a meal at a teahouse or restaurant. This means it can be hard to find a table. If the children or husbands do not make a reservation ahead of time, they may not be able to get a table on Mother’s Day.
Many restaurants take the opportunity to offer a Mother's Day Special Package, which usually comprises of several luxurious ingredients, such as bird’s nest, which is 燕窩 in Cantonese, and fish belly. These ingredients are thought to promote the health of the body and skin, particularly for women, and so provide the basis for an ever-youthful appearance.
In addition to a meal at a restaurant, some children also give their mothers small gifts, such as carnations, or 康乃馨, greeting cards, jewelry, or skin care products.
In the last few years, a number of cake shops have started holding classes on how to make Mother’s Day-themed cakes and desserts. These usually target teenagers and adults.
In kindergartens and primary schools, kids learn to make hand-made gifts for their mothers in class.
Besides being treated to restaurant meals and gifts, stay-at-home mothers are asked to refrain from housework on this day. Instead her husband and children will take the initiative to do this housework or 家務, letting her rest while they show appreciation for the work she does every day.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question- Do you know the song about a mother's love that is most famous in Hong Kong?
Cantonese songs are called 廣東歌, and the value and importance of a mother's love has become a common theme in more than one of them. The most famous and beloved among them is "Really Love You," called 真的愛你 in Cantonese, which was released in 1989 by the band BEYOND. The record sold really well, achieving double-platinum status, and the song and lyrics are still widely used in commercials to this day.
How was this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting? When is Mother's Day celebrated in your country?
Leave us a comment at CantoneseClass101.com.
We'll see you next time!