Father’s day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and this year it is on the 21st of June and is coinciding with International Yoga Day.
Today we live in the age of instant information and awareness of all that is happening around the world. Within minutes news travels. We are truly a global community and so we adopt customs and rituals which we understand and can relate to. Even though Father’s Day celebrations started in the United States of America, in Urban India too it is catching on as a day to honor our fathers and grandfathers. Thanks to all the buzz and wishes on social media we are becoming aware of Father’s Day.
The role of Fathers in the upbringing and nurturing of their offspring has seen a sea change over the last few decades in India. I remember my mother as well as my mother-in-law telling us stories about their childhood. The role of the mother/woman was important in the upbringing. The men kept to the outer areas of the house. The children were the sole responsibilities of the ladies. The boys were given a lot of freedom and the girls were supposed to be seen and not heard. When the men came home from work in the evening there was pin-drop silence and all children adhered to this rule. The word of grandfathers, fathers, and uncles, or for that matter whoever was the head of the house was the law. No arguments or any considerations.
Then came our childhood when my father had a lot of say and took a keen interest in our performance and studies. As children, we had a very open and friendly relationship where we spoke our mind and could argue our point of view. We grew up with equal opportunities. Even my grandmother who would discriminate between my uncle and aunt changed her attitude. There was definitely more involvement of fathers in every aspect of our lives. With the advent of my children, I think the role of fathers or Fatherhood took on a whole new meaning. Being a working mother the involvement in bringing up the children and giving them values was equally shared. If I had work their father looked after them. No parent-teachers meetings were missed, all school functions be it sports day or annual day were always attended. Whatever the commitments, Children always came first.
Indeed in the last three generations, the role of fathers in urban India has changed dramatically and evolved for the better. I love this image of evolving Fatherhood and am waiting to see the next generation and wishing all Father’s a Happy Father’s Day.