Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day

For Father's Day we enjoyed an asado, courtesy of our current house guest, Tomás.
Everything was prepared on the grill: beef, morcilla, tomatoes, onions, butternut squash and red peppers with mozzarella. It was fabulous!

Tomás is a British MK who is studying aeronautical engineering in Cordoba. Recently he cut his hand quite badly while washing dishes; he actually severed a tendon. His dad came to be with him when he had surgery to re-connect the tendon on June 7th, but he needed to return to Salta, so once the swelling went down and they were able to put a permanent cast on his arm June 11th, Tomás came here to recuperate. He needed to stay in the area while finishing exams at the university. He's been a very easy house guest, and we'll miss him when he leaves this evening. His final exams were today and he's catching a bus to Salta to spend the winter break with his family.

We also enjoyed a nice long skype visit with our son in the afternoon, when he called to wish his dad a Happy Father's Day. It was fun to catch up with him and hear how their plans are going regarding a big move later this year. We got on google earth and saw where his company headquarters are located in San Francisco. I love being able to move the little man around and see the street like you're standing right in front of the buildings. That is such a cool feature!

This was the first year we became aware of another cultural difference, having to do with Father's Day. My guess is that we didn't learn about it sooner because we had not developed close enough relationships the first couple years, and last year we were in the U.S. when Father's Day rolled around.

Anyway, all that to say: Apparently Father's Day in Argentina is considered a day for men to honor one another with personal visits. I'd like to find out if this is something unique to this area (like high school graduation open houses in the Midwest) or if it's typical throughout the country.

Mid-afternoon Abram and his three children and granddaughter stopped in to see us. They brought máte and bizcochos, and I quickly put together a picada of ham, salami and cheese cubes with a dish of olives on the side. We enjoyed catching up with them (we hadn't seen Ruth or Joel in over a year) and being entertained by Uma, Abram's adorable granddaughter.
But we still didn't realize the significance of the visit. It wasn't until shortly after they left that Ivan received a call from Julio and Magdalena, that we finally put the pieces together. Magdalena said they'd been expecting us to stop by all day, and finally just called to wish Ivan a "Feliz Día de Padre".  They'd had a steady parade of kids, grandkids and friends stopping by throughout the afternoon.

So now we know!

I think it's a very meaningful tradition, but I also see the dangers as our network of friends grow! It could turn into one of those marathon days like we used to have back in Michigan, when we had multiple graduation open houses to attend on any given weekend.

Learning about how Father's Day is celebrated here made me wonder: Have we missed other cultural cues regarding special holidays? I'm going to need to ask my friends!

5 comments:

Mari said...

Glad you had a nice Fathers Day. Google Earth is really a fun thing to use. Your meal sounds fabulous!
Interesting cultural things you are learning. I have to wonder, if you are out visiting others, how does anyone stop to see you?

skoots1mom said...

what a fun time with friends...
hope friend 1's arm heals quickly..ouch!
such a sweet little girl...
bet the food was yummy.
i'm still recuperating from our whirlwind trip to nc for hubby's aunt's funeral...i drove 3hrs during the trip home and it WORE this body out...and i was out of hormones, so i'm hoping to rest better tonight (whenever they run out, i can't sleep AT ALL, even with meds...this is one red-eyed lady today)
that's so interesting about father's day...great way to celebrate...we skyped w/ channing (she updated us on her having been camping and hanggliding with a group from their college-aged ministry in tuscaloosa...scary stuff)
she's home and healthy, so i am very THANKFUL
have a wonderful Wednesday!

rita said...

Very interesting insight.
You are learning more than I ever did.
At least Father's Day is on the same day as ours.

Lhoyt said...

I am quite sure that one of two factors is involved in my not knowing about the Father's Day visits. Either it is a regional thing, or we were never tied in to the Argentine culture. I am also very much aware that the PC culture of the U.S. Has changed the face of missions to the point that missionaries nowadays are much more sensitive to those matters. One thing remains unchanged and that is the psalmist's comment "unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it." That is our only hope.

Lhoyt said...

I am quite sure that one of two factors is involved in my not knowing about the Father's Day visits. Either it is a regional thing, or we were never tied in to the Argentine culture. I am also very much aware that the PC culture of the U.S. Has changed the face of missions to the point that missionaries nowadays are much more sensitive to those matters. One thing remains unchanged and that is the psalmist's comment "unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it." That is our only hope.