Ways Singaporean fathers show their love
Fathers – no matter how stern they may be with us, or how aloof and stoic they may seem, we know that deep down, they love us, and we love them too. We can’t even blame Singaporean fathers for being this way, it’s all part of the Asian culture. You don’t see us naturally throwing “I love you” back and forth the way they do in Western movies and TV shows.
While they may not be the most forthcoming with their affection, they definitely show their love for us in other ways. Here are 8 wholesome ways Singaporean fathers say “I love you” – minus the words, of course.
1. Always making sure you have enough money
If your dad is anything like mine, he can be a bit of a penny pincher. Quirky habits may include wearing the same clothes for years on end, and always bringing his own bags to the supermarket to save on the precious $0.10 charge because “every cent counts”. When it comes to his children, however, all of this goes out the window.
Whether it’s through giving you an allowance or sneaking a little extra change into your wallet when you’re not looking, he’ll always find a way to make sure his kid is taken care of, financially. After all, with all the $0.10 he’s saved week after week, he can afford to splurge more on his beloved children.
2. Drives you around, even at odd hours
Although the Singapore public transport system is revered for its efficiency, just like any of us, it’s still subject to the occasional breakdown. We all know what it’s like to be stuck on the MRT, waiting and waiting, but with no end to the delay in sight. On the other hand, a mode of transport that’s available 24/7, costs nothing and is always just a call away? The Daddy Express.
There’s no better feeling than receiving a “Do you need me to come fetch you?” text from Dad after a long, exhausting day. Stepping into the air-conditioned comfort of the car, ripping your mask off, and taking a fat nap while your driver dad blasts oldies from the front seat.
3. Checks on you through your mum or siblings
Yet another signature move in the stoic dad playbook: checking on you through your mum or siblings. We all know how this goes – Dad goes around the house playing a game of broken telephone, finding out how you’re doing and what you’ve been up to from everyone but you.
Bonus points if he mentions one of your activities later on without you ever having told him about it. This refusal to ask you directly is not for lack of caring though, if anything, it takes far more effort to find out so discreetly, dads are just awkward and a bit paiseh to broadcast their care and affection like that.
4. Cuts fruits for you
We’ve all been holed up in our rooms, late at night, and had Dad walk in with a plate of freshly cut fruit. No knocking before entering of course – he is, after all, Asian.
I’m not sure what exactly it is about cutting tropical fruit into bite-sized pieces that screams “love” to Asian dads; maybe they do it because they know we are too lazy to prepare it ourselves, or maybe they just want an excuse to sneak a couple of pieces as a snack. Either way, fruit always seems to taste better when Dad cuts it for you.
5. Goes for the unwanted parts of the meal
For most of us, family meals are one of the best parts of the day; few things can top the satisfaction of being greeted by a piping hot spread, with chopsticks in hand, and a heaping bowl of freshly scooped rice ready to be devoured.
If you’ve noticed your dad going for the same unwanted parts of the meal over the years but never thought much of it, think deeper. Chances are, it’s not a coincidence that he always goes for the chicken breast, leaving you with the glorious drumsticks, when you know they’re his fave too. It’s his way of showing that his love for you is worth having to gnaw on tough, dry meat.
6. Always makes sure that you’re well-fed
Dads are good at a lot of things – they’re excellent handymen, dependable drivers and, especially when we were younger, effective disciplinarians. Despite their many talents, however, they are very rarely skilled in the kitchen.
Still, this doesn’t stop them from trading in their dad caps for a chef’s hat and whipping up a “gourmet” meal the second we mention we’re hungry. If he doesn’t cook, he’ll make sure to dabao something for you, even if he has to go out of his way. Whatever it may be, he won’t let you go hungry.
7. Waits up at night to make sure you get home safely
Seeing the number of missed calls and concerned texts from Dad asking you to “come home soon” after a night out is an all too familiar sight for most of us. It doesn’t matter what time it is or how many times you tell him to just go to bed first, he’ll wait up for however long it takes until you get home, just so he can know that you’re safe.
Although this may get a little annoying at times, you can’t blame him for being concerned about your whereabouts. If anything, it just shows how much he cares.
8. Acts as the designated handyman of the house
When something breaks in the house, we have 2 options: call an external handyman miles away, or the “handyman” in the other room. More often than not, we’ll pick the free option. Just like how being a father is a job that never ends, being the at-home handyman is a round-the-clock responsibility.
No matter what time of day it is, you know the toolbelt will come right on as soon as you shout, “Dad, can you help me fix this?”.
Show your father how much you love him with Ugift
With all the love and care our fathers show us, it can often feel impossible to find ways to reciprocate. After all, randomly giving them a gift can feel awkward, and the last thing you want is to come off as insincere. For most of us, Father’s Day is the one day a year when we can show our appreciation for our dads without feeling bashful.
If you’re one of many who nervously watches the day inch closer and closer, only to scramble to put together a gift the night before because you can never seem to figure out what Dad wants, you might want to try out Ugift. Ugift is a digital gifting app that allows you to purchase and send gift cards from countless dining, retail, and lifestyle merchants.
Unlike the typical e-gift, you won’t need to worry about seeming transactional or disingenuous as these gift cards are fully customisable. This means that you can pick out everything, from the images and text to stickers and even music, to create a truly personal, thoughtful gift.
They make an especially good gift if you’re someone who knows what your dad likes but can’t decide on one exact gift, because you leave the choosing to Dad. With a gift card, it’s up to them to decide what exactly they want to spend it on, whether that be an item, meal, or even an activity to try out with the whole family.
Plus, if you’re a little broke cause Dad hasn’t had a chance to slip a little extra coin into your wallet, you’ll be happy to know that Ugift is offering 20% off dining gift cards worth $50 from merchants like Marche Mövenpick, HANS IM GLUCK and Dian Xiao Er from now until sold out. Stocks are limited, so you’ll want to move quickly or risk being disappointed.
From now till 19th June, you can even stand to win $100 worth of gift vouchers from Fairmont Singapore, Klook or Foot Locker when you customise and send a Father’s Day gift card through the app. A total of 14 winners will be selected, and you’ll automatically be entered into the giveaway once you send a gift card.
For all they do, our dads deserve our deepest appreciation. Although we’ll never be able to truly repay them for all they’ve done for us, a heartfelt gift customised with love down to the very last detail is a good start.
This post was brought to you by Ugift.
Photography by Alvin Wong & Loo Jie Ling.