Today, the words Feliz Dia das Mães – Happy Mother’s Day – are difficult to escape.
Unlike the UK, which celebrates on the fourth Sunday of Lent, Brazil gives thanks for its mums on the second Sunday of May, along with a lot of other countries around the world that choose this day over International Women’s Day on 8 March.
The mother holds a particularly powerful place in the family pecking order in Brazil and she is eulogised at every possible moment. Probably something to do with the significance of Mary in this Catholic nation’s psyche… Not sure, but nobody crosses mãe – mum – that’s for sure.
Anyway, yesterday’s grocery shopping to the local member of the Walmart family – Mercadorama – was made even more excruciating that it usually is. I don’t like shopping in a supermarket where there are normally two people serving hundreds of customers, but yesterday’s constant reminders of Mother’s Day and the need to buy lots of stuff for it were quite over-the-top.
Flowers, chocolates and stacks of other unimaginative Mother’s Day gifts were piled up in every conceivable place. And if this didn’t remind you, the onslaught of Tannoy announcements would have left you in very little doubt of your woeful approach to son-ly duties should you leave the place without tons of the stuff.
Glad to know it isn’t just this way in Britain…