Quiet Fathers Day at home

Far apart but close at heart: Jo Ann (on screen, below) chatting via a video call from Laos with her family members in George Town.

GEORGE TOWN: This year’s Fathers Day will be a virtual celebration for teacher Soo Jo Ann as she will be spending another year working in Laos.

The 27-year-old said she would video call her father Soo Kam Fan, 67, and mother alongside her two sisters and brother tomorrow.

“My eldest sister and I are away. Only my brother and youngest sister live in Penang with my parents so this year, they will help us host the celebration.

“Since I cannot return home, I can only see him virtually and get my brother to help me pass him a red packet as a celebratory gesture for the special day.

“We will just watch the celebration through a video call,” she said when contacted.

Jo Ann added that since she was not able to spend time with her father, it was more practical to send him a red packet.

“This way, he can buy himself items in colours and styles that he really likes.

“In previous years, we all bought him gifts like wallets and shoes,” she added.

Sourcing associate Jesslyn Tan, 31, said Fathers Day would be a muted celebration for her family in Perak as well this year.

“To celebrate the special day, I will be ordering a Fathers Day cake online to send to my father in my hometown in Kuala Kurau.

“It will only be him and my mother there, so all I can do is send my wishes to him through the cake.

“In previous years, we would usually cook a meal and eat together. We would also get a cake for dessert.

“Unfortunately, this is all we can do for now as we are still in a lockdown,” she added.

Meanwhile, businesses have been thinking up all sorts of ideas and offers to help families celebrate the occasion.

A restaurant in Bayan Lepas is giving out free cakes on top of three takeaway promotions for the special day.

“Our promotion packages are for families who want to celebrate the special day together, specifically for four persons or more.

“With every pre-order of our promotion package for Fathers Day, we will give a complimentary cake,” said owner Daniel Tan.

“As Fathers Day is usually a special occasion where people gather to have a meal, we know that families will often include dessert in their order.

“If we throw in a free cake, it will save time and effort for our customers,” he added.

There are also special Fathers Day offers for those who cannot be with their father during the lockdown.

Restaurant marketing executive Cindy Lim said they too were holding promotional sets of Japanese cuisine for the whole month.

“We are giving a two-pax dining offer. Customers can choose the self pick-up option or have it delivered to their homes.

“There is a main course with sides and we will provide a free mini sushi cake and complimentary salad.

“Since we are in the middle of a lockdown and many people might not be able to meet their parents, we thought they could send the orders to their parents’ home so that they can enjoy a candlelight dinner,” she added.

At a cake shop in Sungai Nibong, a store assistant who wanted to be known only as Jess, 31, said she had started receiving orders for Fathers Day since early this month.

“So far, we have received eight orders. But since cakes are less popular options for Fathers Day, we have not been seeing an increase in orders on the days leading up to Fathers Day.

“We usually get more cake orders for Mothers Day or birthdays,” she added.

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