On November 16, people throughout the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea celebrate the Mother’s Day. Few days ago I went out to a street in Pyongyang. It was unusually animated. I could see people buying flowers in stands and some couples consulting how to congratulate their mothers.

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I was attracted by a shop crowded in front of the Pyongyang Railway Station. It was the Pyongyang Card and Souvenir Shop and a lot of people were buying greetings cards. An assistant there said that it had been rather quiet in November earlier and that now it was crowded with the Mother’s Day ahead. She told me a story about greetings card.

On November 16, 2012 the Mother’s Day was instituted and it elicited a great reaction from the public. It is the anniversary when President Kim Il Sung made a speech entitled The Duty of Mothers in the Education of Children at the First National Meeting of Mothers.

Celebrating the first Mother’s Day, the Fourth National Meeting of Mothers was held and a lot of activities to celebrate the day significantly took place. More than ten kinds of greetings cards were published—some showed beautiful bouquets, some portrayed a happy mother embracing her baby, and inscriptions “I love my mother” and “Congratulations on Mother’s Day” were borne. They were designed under the guidance of the supreme leader Kim Jong Un. Every design of the greetings cards reflects children’s respect for their mothers. The participants in the Fourth National Meeting of Mothers received such greetings cards at the same time on the morning of the Mother’s Day. Among them, there were those who had a lot of children and received the title of Labour Hero, and those who had worked hard for the sake of society and the collective. They all considered those cards as congratulatory greetings from Kim Jong Un to all mothers across the country in recognition of their services for their families and their sons and daughters. Some kept the cards as their heirloom.

Listening to her story, I looked at the customers carefully. Among them, I could see a young man writing a congratulatory message in the card, a young couple looking at pictures of cards with their lovely baby between them, a middle-aged customer smiling with a card in his hand. I wondered whether they knew the story of the Mother’s Day cards.

Cha Su Jong, living in Okryu-dong No. 1, Taedonggang District, Pyongyang, said, “No word is holier and dearer than mother. The personality of a mother decides that of her children and their morality. It also influences the future of the nation. So mothers try hard to bring up their children as upright people. I feel happy and proud as a mother when I receive greetings cards and bouquets from my children on the Mother’s Day. I would send a greetings card to my mother if my mother were alive now.”

Family celebrates the Mother's Day

Family celebrates the Mother’s Day

I left the shop weighing the importance and preciousness of the greetings card which is as small as my palm. I told myself: I will offer this card and greetings to my mother. I will tell people the story of warm love of our leader Kim Jong Un who respects and treats mothers preferentially.

Rim Sang Jun