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Asian Opinions

Sue-ann Tan
Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014

Asian Opinions

To Dad, with love

The New Paper | Sue-ann Tan | Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014

My phone buzzes at work and I reach for it with a groan, thinking that I have extra work awaiting me.

It turns out that my dad has sent me a message on Facebook with a single word "how" and a sticker cartoon image of cutlery.

Having received the same message every day from him, I understand that the "how" refers to "how are you doing" and the image refers to "when are you coming home for dinner?"

When I eventually get home, I find that he has cooked a steaming pot of pork ribs and Japanese-style Chawanmushi steamed egg.

My dad isn't the traditional sole breadwinner-type father, nor is he the stay-at-home dad. He does stocks and futures trading from home and, as a result, takes care of some of the household chores.

Cooking was initially not his forte but with growing enthusiasm, he has become more adept.

Once he watched a YouTube video of chicken cooked with Coca Cola and tried to replicate it, with interesting results.

My dad is not perfect: He does not earn the big bucks, nor does he jump gladly into the car to drive me to work. And his cooking, well, sometimes it needs a little help.

But he is still the father who carried my schoolbag to walk me to primary school, and the one who taught me to polish my boots when I was in the National Cadet Corps in secondary school. As gender roles blur and women join the workforce, it seems to become increasingly acceptable to find men in roles different from those of their traditional counterparts.

In my opinion, these men are neither to be glorified or vilified. It can be choice or circumstances that have made them take the road less travelled.

Ultimately, all fathers are remembered for what they do for their children.

Many of my peers have told me that their fathers do not openly declare their affections for their children. Instead, they show love through subtle gestures.

For my dad, the simple Facebook messages he unceasingly sends me, though consisting of a single word, encapsulates what he does not articulate verbally.

Thank you dad, I love you.

And Happy Fathers' Day.


This article was first published on June 15, 2014.
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