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Father’s Day Special – ‘Mata Pita Guru Deivam’

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Mata Pita Guru Deivam

In India, fathers are next only to mothers with respect to the honor and love they are given. It is customary for sons and daughters to touch their father’s and mother’s feet and all elders, to seek blessings for any occasion, at weddings and even on returning home after a long trip away, as a form of greeting.

Today, Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June. The 16th of June is Father’s Day this year. Father’s Day is not an Indian tradition but in the Vedas, father has always been given a very high status, supported by many Indian epics. In the Ramayana, Ram goes for exile for 14 years giving up his inheritance to the throne, to honour his father Dasaratha’s word to his wife Kaikeyi.

Whatever was the history, the basic need is for all of us to acknowledge and recognize that we owe what we are and what we want to become, so much to our fathers! And this special day gives us just the opportunity to do so!

This special day was actually incepted in the United States in the early 20th century to complement Mother’s Day in celebrating fatherhood and male parenting. After the successful promotion of Mother’s Day in the US, some wanted to create similar holidays for other family members, and Father’s Day was the first choice.

Father’s Day was founded in Spokane, Washington at the YMCA in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd. Its first celebration was on June 19, 1910. Her father, the Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who raised his six children there.  After hearing a sermon about Jarvis’ Mother’s Day in 1909, she told her pastor that fathers should have a similar holiday honoring them. Although she initially suggested June 5, her father’s birthday, the pastors did not have enough time to prepare their sermons, and the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday of June.

In the 1930s Dodd returned to Spokane from University, and started promoting the celebration again, raising awareness at a national level. Since 1938 she had the help of the Father’s Day Council as well. Americans resisted the holiday for a few decades, seeing it as just an attempt by merchants to replicate the commercial success of Mother’s Day, and newspapers frequently featured cynical and sarcastic attacks and jokes. However, by the mid 1980s the Father’s Council wrote that “Father’s Day has become a ‘Second Christmas’ for all the men’s gift-oriented industries.”

A bill to accord national recognition of the holiday was introduced in Congress in 1913. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson went to Spokane to speak in a Father’s Day celebration and wanted to make it official, but Congress resisted, fearing that it would become commercialized. US President Calvin Coolidge recommended in 1924 that the day be observed by the nation, but stopped short of issuing a national proclamation. The custom spread throughout the United States and in 1936 a national Father’s Day committee was formed. Headquartered in New York City, the committee annually selects a Father of the Year. Some of the fathers who have won this title are Douglas MacArthur, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Harry S. Truman. In 1957, Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith wrote a proposal accusing Congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers, thus “[singling] out just one of our two parents. In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Six years later, the day was made a national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972. And the world has followed suit, honoring all fathers and father-figures everywhere.

But back to today. It’s a universal truth that the perceptive poet wrote –

You don’t have to deserve your mother’s love. You have to deserve your father’s.  – Robert Frost

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Be green today with these 10 simple steps

Eco-friendly home

Adopt a natural, organic and eco-friendly lifestyle. (Image Courtesy : Google)

The best part about living an environmentally friendly lifestyle is that it helps you save money. Being green is not about going out and buying a green product, it’s about being aware of how we live each day and the baby steps we take every single day.

If you’ve wanted to start an eco-friendly lifestyle and didn’t know where to begin, here are 10 easy steps you can take today! Rest assured if you practice just a few of these steps you would not only save money but also be our planet’s best friend. ☺

Here are 10 simple tips to go green Right NOW:

Tip 1. Did you buy your favorite jam or achar (pickle)in a glass jar?

Eco-Tip: Re-use the glass jars to store pulses, spices, tiny art supplies and things alike.

Benefit: You’ll save your food from being stored in substandard plastic containers. Moreover, plastic is neither good for your health or the planet’s. Rest assured you won’t have to worry about BPA (Bisphenyl-A) or exposure to cancer.

To parent-to-be, parents of infants and younger children, women and everyone : we’d strongly urge you to read this synopsis put together by the American Cancer Society, about a study enlisting the risks from plastic chemicals such a BPA

Tip 2. Make yourself a promise.

Never leave home without water in a reusable bottle. Absolutely STOP buying plastic disposable bottles. Please refer back to Tip 1 on the ill effects of chemicals such as BPA in plastic. Watch ‘The Story of Bottled Water’. Even though this is specific to the US, it is relevant to India and an eye opener.

Tip 3. Have a baby in diapers?

Eco-Tip: Switch to cloth diapers or use a combination. Leave the disposable diapers for use when you head out of home or have guests over.

Benefit: Cloth diapers or reusable nappies can be a great inexpensive alternative to disposable diapers. Age-old traditions are tried and tested techniques and there is no harm bouncing back to something that is naturally good. Babies who wear cloth nappies have less diaper rash (hence less creams). With cloth diapers your baby won’t be exposed to sodium polyacralate (the shiny crystals in the diaper that can stick to babies skin causing reactions)*1 To read about benefits of cloth diapering here’s a super article on ’10 Benefits To Using Cloth Diapers’ written by Kelly a wonderful mom of three. If your child has sensitive skin try organic pants that are made out of unadulterated soft cotton. They stay soft even after multiple washes. You have to experience them to truly understand its quality.

Tip 4Unplug appliances, chargers and microwaves when they are not in use. 

Definitely turn your computer off completely before you go to bed.

Power Strip helps you unplug multiple plugs in one go.

Eco-Tip:  Consider using a power strip, it’s easy to unplug multiple appliances quickly. Adds to the convenience factor 🙂

Tip 5. Invest in rechargeable batteries and compact fluorescent lights(CFLs) or LED light bulbs.

Tip 6. Reuse old bills, printouts as scrap paper.

If you have children use them to create some stunning artwork for your kids room. Alternatively print on both sides.

Tip 7. Order e-statements and pay your bills online. Phone bills, bank statements, energy bills everything.

Tip 8. Have errands to run?

Eco-Tip: Stop. Pause. Plan. Make a grocery list and stick to it. Additionally try and plan errands in one geographic location together.

Benefit: Firstly, sticking to your list will help you stick to your budget. Shoppers tend to over spend when they don’t have a list, sometimes buying items that are already stocked at home. Lastly, clubbing the errands together in a single geographic area will help will save on petrol.

Tip 9. Bring in some natural light.

Bring in the natural light.

Avoid turning lights on as long as you can.  Alternately do remember to switch off lights, fans or any other appliance before you leave the room or your house.

Lastly, guess you already know this.

Tip 10. Going shopping?

Please carry re-usable bags. Make the synonymous association Shopping = Reusable bag! 🙂

For thoughtful shoppers!

Heading the eco-friendly lifestyle has never been this easy. Sign up for a few of these and you’ll be well on your way to making it a way of life.

We love connecting with our readers. Comments, suggestions, more eco-friendly quick tips? Send them in to tina@naturalmantra.com and we’ll be happy to give you due credit.

Reduce, re-use, re-cycle.   Be Cool.          Be green!

Agree?

Source:
1. Caldwell, Ginny. “Diapers. Disposable or Cotton?,” Eco-Baby Catalogue

Photo Courtesy : Google Images