HAVANA, May 13 (Xinhua) -- The idea of American Anna Jarvis to celebrate Mother's Day lives on over 100 years later in Cuba where the second Sunday in May has become an almost sacred date.
"Mothers must be venerated every day because they are the ones who give us life through physical suffering," says Edel Sanchez, a 55-year-old obstetrician, who has helped uncountable numbers of women in childbirth.
Sanchez has two children, a daughter who is a doctor and a ten-year-old boy. He is sure that "mothers should receive more honors than the fathers, because giving birth is a risky act that can endanger the life of the woman."
This opinion is shared by Alejandro Garcia, a young university student, whose mother "has made a very big effort to help me study engineering, because my father died in an accident 12 years ago."
"I have no way of thanking her," says the young man who carries a decorated cake "to give it to Mom."
Those with more means may choose more expensive presents although the economic crisis "complicates things," says Garcia.
However, Cubans always look for ways to honor the mother, a figure of great respect, despite remnants of chauvinism in modern society.
"I am happy only in the presence of my children," says Georgina Jimenez, 60, who proudly displays a photograph with her three children and seven grandchildren.
Beyond the presents "which are always appreciated," she, like many other mothers, prefers to take advantage of the date to invite the whole family and make the most of their time together.
Only few Cubans do not participate in the family celebrations which began in 1920.
According to historians, it was in Santiago de las Vegas, a town located about 35 km south of Havana, where Mother's Day was first celebrated on the second Sunday of May in 1920 in Cuba.
Bibliographical references indicate that it was Victor Munoz, a well-known journalist at the time, who published an article about it in the newspaper "El Mundo."
In that text, Munoz recalled that "today is the second Sunday of May, which the Americans consecrate as Mother's Day, and which many Cubans want to celebrate."
On that same day, the theater of the Instruction and Recreation Center in Santiago de las Vegas was filled with the public for a ceremony to honor mothers.
At the time, journalist Francisco Montoto recited the verses written by National Hero Jose Marti to his mother and the poem "To my mother" by socialist intellectual Diego Vicente Tejera.