Many countries around the world observe Father’s Day on the third Sunday in June, including the United States and Japan. In Taiwan, however, Father’s Day is celebrated on August 8th. That’s because the pronunciation of the Chinese word for Dad – baba -- is similar to that of August 8th.
A recent survey released by the Child Welfare League Foundation shows that father-child relationships in Taiwan barely get a passing grade. That’s because it seems that a father’s main role is to do leisure activities with their children. Also, only 40.6% of the respondents shared their worries and concerns with their father.
The survey also found that the conversation between father and child is far from satisfactory. The sentence “go to sleep soon” is what respondents heard from their father the most, at 44.7%. That was followed by questions such as “did you finish homework” and “how was the test?”
When asked why they don’t like chit-chat with their father, most respondents cited reasons such as inattention on the one hand or preaching on the other, as well as interferences by electronic gadgets such as smartphones.
It is probably understandable that Taiwanese fathers have not done a great job. Another survey conducted by a job bank shows that about 25% of Taiwanese working fathers aged between 30 and 34 are busy moonlighting. That’s because their average monthly paycheck of US$1,200 is simply not enough for them to raise their children. Under these circumstances, some have to work two jobs or even more and have little time for their kids.