The second Sunday in November is Fathers' Day in Estonia, which was celebrated in Tallinn with a special concert where basketball trainer Tiit Sokk was named Estonia's 2016 Father of the Year.
Sokk noted in his speech that when his two sons were born, because of his work, the greater burden was shouldered by his wife. "Beginning in 1992, when the children were seven and three years old, respectively, when we moved to Greece for five years, I was a complete father, and not just," he said, recalling that he had to teach his sons Estonian and math while also remaining a trainer somewhat. He confirmed, however, that as a father he always kept an eye on his boys.
"Family has always been very important and I thank them for that," said Sokk. "For this recognition I'd like to thank those people who have remained by my side and I believe that I remain at their side and a help to them as well."
"At long last, everyone understod that we are working in order to allow ourselves children," President Kersti Kaljulaid said in her speech at the event, in which she found that modern people knew how to balance work and family. "But there is no point to it if we don't have time to really get to know them before they grow up. At long last, everyone has understood that mothers and fathers alike have this right.
"It seems to me that fathers of the year throughout the years have been pioneers of this new and budding 21st century family model," said Kaljulaid, adding that these fathers of the year have remained at their children's side regardless of whether or not society has facilitated this, and that new, 21st century fathers are also joining their ranks in the winds of change. "Employers must be prepared for the fact tht more and more fathers are taking sick leave due to their child's illness, and that more fathers are scurrying from evening meetings to kindergarden. They have this right. Precisely — they have this right and not obligation."
Siiri Oviir, former MEP, 2012 Woman of the year and chair of the Estonian Women's Union, noted in her own speech that society's views on being a father and the raising of children have changed, as the number of fathers who have unabashedly wanted to take parental leave to be at home with their children remains on the rise.
The Fathers' Day concert, which was organized by the Estonian Female Song Society (Eesti Naislaulu Selts) and the Estonian Women's Union (Eesti Naisliit), featured performances by the Ellerhein Girls' Choir, the Estonian Choir Directors' Women's Choir, the Girl's Choir of Old Town Music House and actors from the Tallinn City Theatre. The concert program was curated and directed by Riina Roose.
Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla