Fathers’ Day Replaced with ‘Relatives’ Day’ at Finnish Day Care Centres

Marriage-Alliance-Australia-Fathers-day-finland.jpgCelebrating a father can be offensive, apparently. In an attempt to become more politically correct, some Finnish day care centres have decided not to celebrate Fathers’ Day. Instead, they have opted to rename the holiday 'läheisenpäivä' or “Kinsman's/relatives’ day.”

Ria Sotka, director of the Kulosaari day care centre in Helsinki, stated that the decision is best because it focuses on the interests of the children: 

There are different kinds of families in Helsinki. Here, we do focus on the child's interests. For children, it is important that close relatives participate in our activities. Now we shall see what kind of reception it gets.

On Fathers’ Day this year, Yliskylä and Kulosaari day care centres have decided to move forward with their gender-neutral version of the holiday, hosting a celebratory breakfast in honor of the day.

The Finnish Ombudsman for Children, Tuomas Kurttila, weighed in on the decision, saying that it does not make sense to deviate from tradition in celebrating Fathers’ Day or Mothers’ Day, and that the names of the holidays should remain the same. He believes that changing the holiday would be overprotecting children from disappointment, and that children should not be underestimated. 

The holiday will be celebrated on 12 November.

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