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Happy fathers just want 'to feel wanted'
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-06-21 09:25

Fathers in China are easygoing about Father's Day. Write a touching card, take him to dinner, buy a small gift and you have a happier father.

Father Wang Yu demonstrates his skill to spectators preparing salad combining cooking techniques, swimming and father-child communication in Shuiqing Garden in Shanghai's Pudong, as a special way to celebrate the Father's Day. [China Daily]
Wang Jun, a 28-year-old man from Central China's Hubei Province celebrated his first Father's Day yesterday, the third Sunday of June. He said if he wanted anything he just wanted a nice day with his family.

Smiling at his two-month-old son, Wang said that he felt he was blessed and his son fulfilled every desire of his and the joy he has in being a dad.

"My fatherhood has just become a part of my life," he said.

The experience of being a father has also taught Wang to recognize the important role he shoulders in a family as being a father is not just providing financial support, but also providing love for his child.

"There will be a family dinner tonight to honour my dad for his love and commitment for me and three brothers and sisters," Wang said. "He is such a great father and I will learn to be a great father too."

Sociology experts have called for public attention to great financial and psychological pressure on fathers as they take the major financial responsibility in the family.

"They have to raise children and support the older parents and they are the pillar of modern families," said Zhou Xiaozheng, a professor at Renmin University of China in Beijing.

They also become exhausted in educating their children.

Zhou asked other members of the family the wife and children to show more concern for and have more communication with fathers. "Offering small gifts and cleaning the house from time to time are good ideas," he said.

On the eve of Father's Day holiday weekend, Beijing's shopping centres were abuzz with sons and daughters, trying to buy something, anything, to show that they care for their fathers.

"Though this is not a big scene compared with Mother's Day, we surely see an increase of customers buying ties, shirts and men-related stuff," said Liu, a sales assistant at Ito Yokado department store in Beijing.

"I do not know what to get for my dad", Yang Qi, 24, a graduate with Capital Normal University, "he has everything. I want to offer him a nice bouquet as I did on Mother's Day but fathers blush at the presentation of flowers, don't they?"

She finally chose two badminton rackets for her father. Though it would not be a big surprise, she said, her dad would know of her wish for living a healthy life.

However, Zhou Lu, a 26-year-old computer programme designer in East China's Zhejiang Province, didn't bother at all as he was not going to buy any kind of material gift for his dad.

As on any other Sunday, Zhou went fishing with his dad and then took him to a dinner at a restaurant in the neighbourhood.

"The importance is to let fathers know how much they mean to you. To spend some quality time with them regularly means much more than presenting a gift on a particular day," Zhou said.

For Zhou's 55-year-old father, this is a joy he celebrates every day, not just once a year.

"All my fellows admire me very much for I always have my son's companionship," said the father. Though he didn't know when it was Father's Day exactly, for him, it was forever father's day when his son is around.

A lot of fathers were quite carefree about the holiday. When asked what kind of gifts they wanted from Father's Day, they said everything would be fine.

For young fathers, it would be excellent to see their offspring achieve good academic results, while older fathers were expecting to spend more time with their children.

"Father's Day" and "Mother's Day," though Western concepts, are being celebrated in China, although in limited circles. Generally speaking, Father's Day is not as popular as Mother's Day.

A survey made by Sina one of the country's major websites among 7,000 Netizens, showed that 56 per cent of the respondents know which days are Father's Day and Mother's Day and 8 per cent think that the holidays are of little significance.

When answered the question that who loves you most in the world, "mother" got 53.7 per cent of the votes while "father" received 18.7 per cent.

A total of 29.7 per cent of the surveyed said that they loved their mothers most, which was the most popular answer but only 10.4 per cent said their most beloved person was father, ranking fifth on the list.

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