Fathers Day in Pakistan

Posted on June 16, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Society
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Adil Najam

This Father’s Day brings a mixed bunch of feeling for me. I am traveling for work and literally thousands of miles away from my three kids. Missing them, and missing them especially on Father’s Day. There is nothing in the world that compares to parenthood – the greatest of joys, and the greatest of responsibilities!

On the other hand, since I am in Pakistan, I am with my own father on this day; and a time and an age comes when you start cherishing those moments more than you ever did before.

I thought I might put my kids photograph up today. But, actually, those photographs have been up on ATP since Day 1 – if you look at my hum daikhain gay‘ video, the three kids ‘jo daikhain gay‘ who appear right at the beginning, are my own!

So I went back and re-opened the post I had done last Father’s Day. It was not about my kids. It was about the millions of father’s in Pakistan. What I wrote then, I think, is still valid and worth repeating. So, here is the post in full.

I know we are supposed to put cute and cuddly type of stuff on Father’s Day. But being a father is serious business. All the more serious in developing countries like Pakistan.

This picture was taken soon after [the 2005] earthquake, but you can see a scene like this — a desperate father frantically trying to get urgent medical attention for his child — ever day in hospital wards across Pakistan.

Happy Father’s Day, Everyday!

27 responses to “Fathers Day in Pakistan”

  1. HJ says:

    I have heard before this argument about Fathers Day and Mothers Day being “not from our culture” and western imports. Granted they are not from “our culture.” But it is such a *bad idea* to celebrate the importance of the two most influential people in our lives? Just because its “western?” It the same problem when people say that the shawlar must be above the ankle to pray: What’s more important, where the shalwar falls or the prayer itself? Think about it, folks.

    In any case, I have plenty to celeberate about my father. As a father of two young kids, I now realize it has to be one of the toughest tasks in the world. My father – in the trying circumstances that he lived – did his best and that I am proud of. And celebrate.

    Just an aside, many cultures celebrate family. In Japan, they have 15 public holidays. Among them are: Young adults day, people’s day, children’s day and respect of the elders’ day.

    We say we are very “family oriented.” How do we celebrate our families, I ask?


  2. SJH says:

    I too was ‘on the road’ over Father’s Day – thanks for the sentimentality of spending time with one’s parents. I hope we bequeath to our children an improved world and better surroundings wherever we may live.

  3. Dr. K says:

    Just looking at the picture, people swimming on the beach, Does anybody knows the statics of people getting drowned in Karachi every year? I was raised by the sea and I always saw dead bodies being pulled out of the Arabian sea all the time.

  4. Eidee Man says:

    Yes, this is certainly one instance where I’m proud of our family system in Pakistan. I don’t mean to imply in any way that neglect and even abuse of parents does not exist in Pakistan. But I do think, having lived almost ten years in the U.S. that, that this is one area where we’re in a pretty good place.

    Most people in the U.S. are OBSESSED about their age and wanting to look youthful. At work, I interact closely with a man in his 50s and another in his 60s and they both tell me time and again that they envy the kind of system we have.

    Forget neglect of one’s own parents, there is just an overall mistreatment of older people.

  5. ayesha sajid says:

    There is no harm in celebrating festivals coming from the west as long as they dont clash with our relegious and cultural value system.
    Fahad is right in saying if an event is bringing the family close why not ??
    But Moeen has more weight in his argument when he writes about Thanksgiving etc.
    I personelly have this thing against Valentine day for example. I mean what are we teaching our children, its ok to have girl/boy friends and give them heart shaped baloons and teddy bears ?
    I’d much rather my children celebrate Basant then Valentine’s day (minus the cut throat wire ofcourse)
    The point is not, if aping the West blindly and copying them is right or wrong, the crux is that we SHOULD not do so at the expense of losing our own identity.
    For years my children have attended birthday/fancy dress parties/ balls/ galas etc and yet not once there was any celebration invitation for a ‘Bismillah’ or an ‘Ameen’ !

    Will we lose the Chand Raat/Eid celebrations to Fathers day now or do we have enough pride in our own identity to take the two together ?

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