Mother’s Day celebrations
Read the passages given below and answer the questions that follow them:
Nowadays, Mother’s Day celebrations are held throughout the world though they may not fall at the same time. The way of celebrating may also differ but the purpose is the same. It is to honour the mother and to feel and cherish the beautiful bonds we share with her. It would be interesting to find out how the idea of Mother’s Day first took root and who was its originator.
The first celebrations were held in spring in ancient Greece, by paying tribute to Rhea the ‘Mother of Gods’. During the 17th century, England honoured mothers by celebrating ‘Mothering Sunday’ on the fourth Sunday of Lent. In the United States, Julia Ward Home suggested the idea in 1872 and perceived Mother’s Day as being dedicated to peace.
But it was Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia who brought about the official observance of Mother’s Day. She wanted this day to be a holiday and launched a campaign for it. This she did in memory of her mother who died in 1905 and who had, in the late 19th century, tried to establish ‘Mother’s Friendship Days’ as a way to heal the scars of Civil War.
In 1907, Jarvis held a ceremony in Grafton, West Virginia, to honour her mother. The proceedings touched her so greatly that she began a massive campaign to adopt a formal holiday for honouring mothers and in 1910, West Virginia became the first state to recognize Mother’s Day. A year later, nearly every state officially marked the day. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson officially proclaimed Mother’s Day as a national holiday to be held on the second Sunday of May.
But all her efforts to make Mother’s Day one of sentiment and love proved futile when she found that the holiday had been commercialised. Her accomplishment then turned bitter for her. She fought against the commercialization of this day. She filed a lawsuit to stop a 1923 Mother’s Day. She was even arrested for disturbing the peace at a War Mother’s Convention where women sold white carnations. A white carnation was her symbol for mothers, helping her to raise money. She never intended this day to be one for profit making and that was exactly what it had become.
Jarvis was never a mother herself. She spent her maternal fortune trying to stop the commercialization of the holiday she founded. Today, countries like Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia and Belgium also celebrate Mother’s Day on the same day as the United States.
I. Answer briefly:
1. Why is Mother’s Day celebrated? Do you approve of its celebration?
2. Describe the first celebrations of Mother’s Day in different parts of the world.
3. Why did Jarvis’s efforts to make Mother’s Day as the day of sentiment and love prove futile?
4, How did Jarvis devote herself to the cause of Mother’s Day celebrations?
1.The word having the same meaning as ‘perceived’ is:
(a) declared (b) found (c) regarded (d) received
2. Choose the correct opposite of the word ‘useful’ from the options given below:
(a) waste (b) futile (c) difficult (d) beneficial
3. The verb form of ‘commercialization’ is:
(a) commerce (b) commercialize (c) commercial (d) commercially
4. The noun form of ‘intended’ is:
(a) intend (b) intending (c) intention (d) intent
I.1. Mother’s Day is celebrated to honour the mother and cherish the beautiful bonds we share with her. Yes, I am one of those persons who celebrate it.
2. The celebration of Mother’s Day started in Greece by paying tribute to Rhea, the ‘Mother of Gods’. England honoured mothers by celebrating ‘Mothering Sunday’ in 1872. Anna Jarvis brought about the first official observance of Mother’s Day in 1905 in the United States.
3. Commercialization and selling of white carnations made all efforts of Jarvis to make Mother’s Day the day of sentiment and love futile.
4. Jarvis was never a mother herself but she devoted herself to the cause of Mother’s Day. She spent her maternal fortune trying to stop the commercialization.
II.1. (c) regarded
2. (b) futile
3. (b) commercialize
4. (c) intention
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