Boundless love of fathers everywhere
If you have heard the Sinhala song "Piya Senehasata Kaw Gee Liyawuna
Madi" (which roughly translates to "not enough songs/verses have been
written about fatherly love"), that phrase captures the very essence of
fatherhood. While there indeed is a lot of attention on motherhood and
mothers, we tend to think a lot less about fatherhood and fathers. While
no one can equal the role of a mother, the role played by fathers in
bringing up children is under-appreciated.
is one day on the calendar that is exclusively dedicated to fathers the
world over. It is (naturally) called Father's Day and happens to be
celebrated today (June 19) worldwide. Wikipedia says "Father's Day is a
celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds,
and the influence of fathers in society". Although primarily a Western
concept, it has now trickled down to the upper strata of Sri Lankan
society and has also taken on a commercial dimension as well, with
merchants literary cashing in on sons and daughters' desire to buy gifts
Father's Day generally falls on the 3rd Sunday in June every year,
though some countries celebrate it on a different date. Like most such
celebrations, Father's Day originated from the USA. Since June 1966, it
has been celebrated as a national holiday on the third Sunday of each
June in the US, though it is not a national holiday elsewhere.
The exact origins or the idea of celebration is believed to come from
a movement which began 100 years ago. Most sources give credit to Sonora
Smart Dodd, who belonged to Washington. It is said that she came up with
this idea following the mother's day celebration in 1910. She thought
that having a father's day also was fair, given that motherhood was
already being celebrated with a separate Mother's Day.
Sonora Dodd, who lived from 1882 to 1978, was the daughter of
American Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart. She is regarded as the
founder of Father's Day. She and her siblings were raised by her father
as her mother died in childbirth.
When she came up to an age of understanding the world, she started a
campaign to get a special day registered to celebrate fatherhood and get
it recognized. The first Father's Day was observed in 1910 in Spokane
and some other cities and towns across America. The celebration then
spread across the USA and other countries.
But just one day of the year is not adequate at all to repay our
gratitude to our fathers who have sacrificed many things in life to care
for us. In fact, every day of the year should be Father's Day.
Nevertheless, there are many cruel children who almost abandon their
parents when they can no longer be on their own. This is simply
unpardonable - we see many reports on such destitute fathers on TV and
in newspapers almost every day. A father has to be protected and cared
for, for life.
Apart from one's mother, the next most precious person in your life
has to be the father. If you have been too busy with your business or
professional life and did not have enough time to be with your parents
for a while, Father's Day is an ideal opportunity to spend some quality
time with them, away from the glare of computer screens and smartphone
screens. A get-together of this nature will take them back to the
memories of your childhood.
Fatherhood is an inspiring but hectic phase in one's life especially
in the formative years of the children. But the bond between father and
son or daughter must never fade away. That is the central message of
Father's Day, a celebration of and for fathers everywhere.