If you drop something, smell something, hear a man's voice on women's night at the bathhouse, see something bad, see something funny, disapprove, approve but wouldn't wear/do it yourself, are giving somebody tea, the phone, or the channel changer, are surprised, say something incorrectly, are frustrated, are impressed, have a bone in your fish, or your teacher gives you homework, you say "mah." The Russian "foo," is not as flexible (what is?), it corresponds roughly to the Kazakh "tooooo." "Oy, mama!" is a bilingual expression used when one slips on ice.
The disgusting cat (now back to white after a full week of grayness) was on the prowl at dinner tonight. He was snoring so loudly that Dilda apai got up to give him some cream and accidentally stepped on his foot. "Wrowoeee!" said the cat. "Foo!" said host papa. "Mah!" said host mama.