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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Italy Series at ItalianPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Italian holidays and observances. I’m Becky, and you're listening to Season 1 Lesson 10, Mother’s Day.
One of the most important people for Italians is certainly their mother.
Every year, on the second Sunday of May, Mother's Day is celebrated in Italy.
In this lesson we’ll see how Italians celebrate the person they love most in the world, their mother.
Now, before we go into more detail, we’ve got a question for you- Do you know which exclamation is most widely used by Italians?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
One can say that Mother's Day has existed forever, even in ancient times, because in every civilization on Earth the maternal figure has been celebrated as a symbol of life and regeneration. However, Mother's Day in Italy was adopted from the United States, where this festival was made ​​an official holiday in 1914. In Italy, it was celebrated for the first time in 1957 at the behest of an Umbrian parish priest, Don Otello Migliosi.
Usually on this day, Italian kids prepare themselves to present a little gift to their mother. The day is marked by the telling of a nursery rhyme, which is learned by heart, and a drawing or a lavoretto, “little job”, made for school with the help of the teachers. Adults also celebrate the day with their mother by giving her a gift or by simply congratulating her.
For the last few years in Italy, the pink azalea flower has become a symbol of Mother's Day. In fact, in the major Italian squares you can buy a little azalea plant to give to your mother for just a handful of change. Proceeds from the sales are all donated to charity and research carried out to fight cancer in women.
Italian men are known all over the world as great “mama's boys,” mammoni in fact, it’s said that even after becoming adults they always remain very attached to their mother, loving her more than any other woman!
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Do you know which exclamation is most widely used by Italians?
It is none other than “Mamma Mia!”, and it's used to express surprise or shock. It’s used so much that now even other countries around the world have picked it up.
Well listeners, how was this lesson? Did you learn something new?
In your country, are mothers as important as in Italy?
Please leave a comment telling us at ItalianPod101.com.
See you next time!