Honouring Our Mothers on Mother’s Day

Mothers are the architects of society, the nurturers of life, the embodiment of love and sacrifice. Often described as the heart of the family, they have long occupied a significant place in our lives and in the cultural fabric of families around the globe. Whether it's through the comforting scent of a home-cooked meal or the reassuring touch after a scraped knee, a mother's presence is woven into the very essence of our being.

On the other hand, mothers are also prone to tough love. If you are Asian, you probably remember the endless scolding, the endless threats of no TV, no I Pad usage, no pocket money unless we study or unless our grades are up to scratch. By up to scratch, I mean the 99.9% kind!

For one day each year, we have the opportunity to pause and reflect, to celebrate and honour our mothers for their unyielding love and the myriad of roles they take on. Through their guidance, we learn the first steps of life, bask in the warmth of unconditional love, and receive the framework for our future selves.

Motherhood: A Tapestry of Love and Strength

My mother was born in Kuala Lumpur and coming from a poor family, her mother (my grandmother), worked a few jobs washing clothes for other families to ensure she made enough money to feed her own family. As the only daughter in a family of sons, my grandmother worked tirelessly to ensure she kept aside abit extra to give to my mother so that she could always buy a new dress.

Through her, my mother learnt how to be economical when it came to saving money, to scrimp and save wherever possible, to not waste any left over food, and to reuse her clothes and remake them into other pieces. More than the sacrifices that she made for her family, she was also an excellent cook.  My mother learnt how to cook at a young age and this benefited us tremendously especially when we moved to Australia when I was 10 years old. All the wonderful Malaysian dishes such as rendang, nasi lemak and kueh were all replicated with ease by my mother. In the 1980s, it was difficult to find good Malaysian food so we were constantly grateful and looked forward to anything that reminded us of our childhood or food from “home”.

More Than Just a Day of Recognition

I have been living away from my family for the past 30 years. I dont see my mom very often. At best, it would be twice a year when she made a trip to visit me in Singapore or I return to Sydney for a holiday. Every time I return home, I know my bed will be made for me and my favourite junk food purchased and ready. The first thing she asks me is “do you have any clothes to wash?”. I dont even get to do my own washing because she takes care of it. Or maybe the reality is that she doesnt want me to mess with her machine!

I am not a mother to humans but I am a mother to three mischievous cats so I feel that I can speak about this topic with some sort of authority. Being a mother, we dont expect or need recognition. We just have a habit of doing. It’s ingrained in our DNA. We may complain about our kids but secretly, we want the best for them and we want them to succeed and have a good life.

Mothers are honoured one day a year but really, they should be honoured every single day for what they do and the sacrifices they make. As recipients of a mother’s love, the least we could do is to say thank you, remain polite and pay our respects by listening to what they have to say without first thinking how we are going to think of a counter answer.

Cooking Up Memories and Gratitude

There has been a slew of memories of wonderful family dinners growing up in Australia. From kuehs to the famous roast pork, satays and home made hand torn noodles with ikan bills soup, I will always remember how much love and effort went into making these dishes even though I know I probably didnt appreciate it then, as much as I do now.

Ideas to Celebrate the Mother Figure in Your Life

If you're pondering how you might express your thanks and love, consider these small, powerful gestures:

      • Create a Homemade Meal: Dedicate time to crafting her favourite dish as a token of appreciation.
      • Share Stories and Memories: Gather as a family and recount the cherished times that highlight her influence in your life.
      • Give the Gift of Time: Sometimes, what a mother treasures most is simply spending quality time with her loved ones, without distractions.
      • Craft Something Special: A handmade item be it a knitted scarf, a painted portrait, or a DIY project carries the weight of personal effort and thoughtfulness.
      • Write a Letter: In the age of digital communication, a handwritten letter expressing your feelings and gratitude can be a treasured keepsake.


To all the mothers out there, we salute you and celebrate your love, your hard work and all the sacrifices you have made and continue to make. Thank you for listening to us, for being there for us and for showing us tough love when we most need it. It is because of you that we are who we are today. Happy Mother’s Day!

Palate Sensations offers cooking classes to celebrate Mother’s Day. Check out our special classes here.


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