When 48-year-old Butha Sar brought his wife and six children to Falls Church from Cambodia in 1975, he believed Americans celebrated too many holidays.
He still thinks so and he lightly dismisses Father's Day, unheard of in Cambodia, as "another reason to spend money." He discourages his children--Sithik, 20; Sotta, 19; Khema, 18; Tikheayuk, 14; Rithy, 10; and Sophorn, 9--from fussing over him, although in their own way they do.
"I don't know how the American people celebrate it the proper way," Khema says. "We all go out for dinner or cook outside. My father thinks it should be a day for all of us, not just for him."
Sotta says the children see celebrating Father's Day as part of their adjustment to American culture.
Sar says he wants no special thanks from his children. Over the past eight years, he has managed the affairs of nearly all family members. As he sees it, his duties include shopping, banking, finding part-time jobs for the children and escorting them around unknown areas. He works full time in the produce department at a Giant supermarket in Falls Church.
"We never say we love him--you know, out loud. It's not our custom," Khema says. "But inside he knows."