While growing up, every little child needs a superhero in their lives. A superhero is that one person who is a role model to them. They want to talk like them, grow up to be like them, respect and honour them, and at the same time love them with all their heart. The first superhero that every child comes across in their life is their father.
A father is that symbol of strength and solidarity in the family that binds the entire family together. He is that person who is often feared due to his strict principles, but that fear is born out of the respect and honour that the child has for his or her father.
Growing up we see our fathers work day in and day out trying to earn money so as to support entire families. In families that are educated and well-off, several members of the family work together and hence the workload does not fall entirely on a single person’s shoulders. However, that is not the case for all families.
In families that are orthodox, underprivileged, and uneducated or semi-literate such as the ones in the remote village areas of the country, women are not allowed to work outdoors. In these families women are almost always homeworkers while the male members of the family bring in all the income to support his entire family.
This makes the father a very pivotal element of the society and the pillar on which many rely. This is why on the 21st of June every year Father’s Day is celebrated throughout the world so as to celebrate the unnerving strength culminated by all of our fathers and the prime role they play in our upbringing.
Brief History of Father’s Day
Fathers day is celebrated in India on 21st of June, however it is not so all around the world. Father’s Day was first celebrated in Europe, as early as 1508, on the 19th of March. 19th of March in Europe is also Saint Joseph’s Day. The significance of Father’s Day being celebrated on the same day as this in Catholic Europe is because Saint Joseph is believed to be the father of Jesus Christ and husband of Virgin Mary.
In the US this day was only celebrated by Christian Catholics and not otherwise for a long time. However after the celebration of Mother’s Day began by attempts made by a woman named Anna Jarvis, Father’s Day soon followed. In the year 1907, in December , the tragic Monongah Mining disaster took place in Monongah.
The incident led to the tragic death of 361 men among which 250 had children of their own. Naturally, the terrible disaster left all of these 250 kids fatherless.
A woman named Grace Golden Clayton was mourning the death of her father during the same time and she proposed to the government that father’s day should be celebrated in order to honour the death of all the unfortunate men who used to be fathers of those children. This was how father’s day began to be celebrated in USA, and worldwide.
Celebrations of Father’s Day
Similarly even in India Father’s Day is celebrated all around the nation in all its pomp and glory. Father’s Day is not a national holiday, however it is a very personalised celebration done by children all over the world. On this day shopping malls, food stores, online shopping portals and websites offer various special prizes, regards, discount coupons and offers on Men’s apparel.
Children buy gifts for their fathers and make cards to make their fathers happy. On this day several schools, colleges and other institutions arrange cultural programs and interactive sessions with the students and their fathers as well. Although fathers should be respected and loved throughout the year, the one special day dedicated only to that man in our lives who is the pillar of our family makes the day even more splendid.
The television and radio telecasts various programs based on the same topic for that entire day. Even the online portals and social media gets flooded with people posting pictures with their father, starting from children to adults, and even those who have lost their fathers. The pictures are posted with nostalgic captions displaying feeling of great love and gratefulness towards them. It is a beautiful way to show how much our fathers mean to us and the wonderful impact that he has on all of our lives.
The Essence of Fatherhood
It is important to understand that fatherhood is not a gender orientated thing but is a state of mind. There are several families around the world where the children have lost their fathers and are fully dependent of their mothers who look after them and do all the chores indoors as well as outdoors.
In these families the mother plays the role of both a mother as well as a father for her children. Hence, in these families, her efforts should not go unnoticed and such strong and powerful women should also be celebrated on Father’s Day.
Will Smith starred in a popular movie known as “The pursuit of Happiness” where he played the role of a father of a child (played by his own son , Jaden Smith) who against all odds and adversities tries to make ends meet in order to sustain his family. He is shown to be separated from his wife and is a struggling salesman who goes door to door trying to sell machines that he himself had constructed.
Despite being a man with immense potential, he is unfortunate, and being burdened with a child to take care of, he tries to make life as beautiful as possible for his son. The movie depicts the heart wrenching story of father and son bond, and to what measures a man can go and how much hard he can work so as to provide for his children.
The movie ends on a positive note with Will finally being hired at a multinational company for his skills, thereby securing the future of him and most importantly, his beloved son.
Another beautiful movie on fatherhood, that truly captures the essence of being a father, is the 1997 movie “ Life is Beautiful” by Roberto Benigni. The movie is based on the story of a Jewish man living in Nazi Germany during the period of World War II. Horror strikes the him and his family consisting of his wife and little boy when the Germans under the instructions by Hitler begin to hunt down Jews and take them to concentration camps.
Even among such brutality, and adverse circumstances the protagonist wishes to ensure that his child remains unaware of the true horrors happening all around him. The protagonist makes every adverse situation look like mere fantasy to his son by adding elements of humour and comedy to them. In this way he protects his child from getting to know the truth and moving forward into the future with such terrible memories of his childhood.
Till the very end, the protagonist endures all the pain by himself and makes every thing appear to be humorous to his son. The innocent child, unaware of the ways of the world, and the evil that exists in society, believes his father and looks at the world through the rose tinted glasses that his father had created for him.
These two movies truly sums up the importance that every father has in the life of his children. He is that human shield around which the child feels the most safe and protected. Every girl searches for the qualities of her father in every man she meets in her life, and every boy considers his father to be his idol and role model and wants to grow up and be like him in his future.
By celebrating Father’s Day we not only celebrate our fathers and their indispensable impact and role in our lives, but we also celebrate the essence of fatherhood. We celebrate strength ,security, sacrifice and every single aspect of fatherhood that comes with it.
Not only on this special day, but everyday we should wake up in the morning with immense gratitude towards our fathers for providing us with the life that we are living, for showering us with love and presents, for protecting us against all evils and for being our guide and support system.
Remembering our father one day in a day and honouring them for a single day is not good enough, for that person does not wait for a single day to due his duties towards his family.