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21.06.2020 General News

Ghanaians Mark Father's Day

Ghanaians Mark Father's Day
LISTEN JUN 21, 2020

Ghanaians have joined the rest of the world to honour and celebrate fathers for their sacrifice, leadership, mentorship and outstanding roles they have played in communities over the years.

The day, which is observed on the third Sunday of June globally,has gradually been embraced in Ghana to complement the widely celebrated Mother's Day event.

Largely facilitated by the media and their sponsors, Ghanaian men are now being recognised through the giving of cards, gifts, dining outs, well-wishing messages and other forms of showing appreciation, instead of the hitherto practice of a few media houses, inviting callers to share their disturbing experiences with their fathers.

"In Ghana, Father's Day used to be like Father's Bashing Day. You see, the bad nuts made it difficult for us to be admired, but I am glad the trend is taking a positive turn. I'm enjoying the new normal," Mr Arthur Simpson, a father of three adult children told the Ghana News Agency.

" Fatherhood is a very important and serious responsibility, requiring a lot of physical, material and emotional investments in the family, community and the nation. Many of us strive to do our best. I love being a father," he concluded.

About two weeks ahead of the Day, the Ghana observed citizens sharing their experiences and sending well wishes to their fathers through radio platforms, television programmes and social media platforms.

One radio program in Accra urged callers to share some lies they had told their fathers and the confessions ranged from using the buying of books textbooks to extort money to feigning an illness to get more attention.

However, many media programmes urged patrons to send in short videos or write-ups sharing their fond memories and heroic stories of their fathers.

Frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19, who are fathers, have understandably, been given a special space for commendation.

Some newspapers also advertised some events and treats to make the day special, amid the observation of anti Covid-19 hygiene and social distancing protocols.

Additionally, online shops, community gifts shops and some malls, have created special packages and displayed gifts for potential customers to celebrate their Fathers.

At the end of day, the new normal would surely offer many a father, some smiles and joy that alas their toils and sacrifices are being appreciated by family, community and country.

According to a livescience.com account, the observation of Father's Day began in the United States of America when a young woman wanted to honour her dad.

According to the narrative: "In May of 1909, Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington sat in church listening to a Mother's Day sermon. She decided she wanted to designate a day for her dad, William Jackson Smart.

"Dodd's mother had died in childbirth, and Dodd's father, a Civil War veteran, had taken the responsibility of single-handedly raising the newborn and his other five children.

"The following year, Dodd wanted to celebrate Father's Day on June 5th, her father's birthday, and petitioned for the holiday to be recognized in her city.

"Needing more time to arrange the festivities, Spokane's mayor pushed the date back by two weeks, and the first Father's Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, according to the Spokane Regional Convention and Visitor Bureau.

"At the first Father's Day celebration, young women handed out red roses to their fathers during a church service, and large baskets full of roses were passed around, with attendees encouraged to pin on a rose in honor of their fathers – red for the living and white in memory of the deceased.

"Dodd then brought her infant son along on a horse-drawn carriage ride through the city, bringing roses and gifts to home-bound fathers.

While Congress was quick to officially declare the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day in 1914, after it was first celebrated on May 10, 1908, it took much longer for Father's Day to be legally recognised. But thanks to Dodd's celebration, Father's Day steadily gained popularity.

"In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge said that he supported it, in order to establish closer relationships between fathers and their children and to impress upon fathers the full measure of their obligations, according to the Library of Congress.

"And the holiday gained more traction in 1938 when a trade organization, the National Council for the Promotion of Father's Day, which was formed by men's clothing retailers in New York City, decided to take up the cause, according to Consumer Rites: The Buying and Selling of American Holidays (Princeton University Press, 1995).

"President Lyndon Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers in 1966, but it wasn't until 1972 that President Richard Nixon signed the public law that made it a permanent holiday. Since then, Father's Day has become a time to recognize the many different father figures in our lives".

---GNA

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