Monday, February 16, 2009

The Family Day

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Types of Canadian Family
Graphic Design © Joachim Romeo D'Costa

Today is the Family Day in the province of Ontario. The third Monday of February is being observed as the family day since 2008. It's a statutory holiday in this province. The purpose of this day is to let busy and hard-working Ontarians spend quality time together in or with the family. On his re-election as the Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty had declared this holiday on October 11, 2007 by saying: "There is nothing more valuable to families than time together. And yet it seems tougher than ever to find, with so many of us living such busy lives."

Family Day in Different Countries

The Family Day is not an all-Canada holiday because it is not a federal day of observance. Out of 11 provinces and two territories in Canada, this day is observed only in the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan. Other countries that have the Family Day of their own on different dates are Australia, South Africa, Arizona State of the USA, and Vanuatu, an island in the South Pacific Ocean.

What is a Family?

This may seem to be a strange question, but the definition of family has been evolving in the last decade. The standard definition of a family is the religiously or civilly married man and woman and their biological or adopted children. This definition is no longer valid in some countries, including Canada.

In Canada, a family can be of different kinds:

  • Religiously or civilly married husband and wife and their own or adopted children, if any.
  • A man and a woman living in common-law relationship (living together without religious or civil marriage) and their own or adopted children, if any.
  • A man and another man living in the same-sex marriage relationship and their own children (from previous marriage to women but now divorced) or adopted children, if any.
  • A woman and another woman living in the same-sex marriage relationship and their own children (from previous marriage to men but now divorced, or from in vitro fertilization) or adopted children, if any.
Let this Family Day give some respite to family members who are otherwise busy bees in their daily grinds. Bookmark and Share