Saturday, June 14, 2008

Father's Day Reflection - Little House on the Prairie

I was in love with love after watching episode after episode of "Little House on the Prarie". I wanted to emulate Caroline Ingalls and wished that the man I married would be someone like Charles Ingalls.

This is what Laura Ingalls (Melissa Gilbert) look like today. She was in the HBO movie, Sacrifices of the Heart, shown recently on Astro.

Handsome, hard working Michael Landon as Charles Ingalls was a "dream father and husband".

If any one ask me what would be the best time I had with my children when they were young, I would say that there would be many such times. And one of them was watching "Little House on the Prairie" with them.

The later part of 1970's saw many homes having tv sets in Sibu. More tv sets and the new sensation videos started to be sold by Mr. Johnson Wong and other similar shops in Sibu.

As my children grew to like the television just like anyother children in town, they enjoyed watching "Little House on the Prairie" most. The television may have been considered an "escapism" by many academics but to a certain degree if used properly, it was a good educational tool, and even a "baby sitter" for the harried mother.

On my part as a mother, I was hoping that my children would grow up to be like Laura,Mary, Carrie and Grace. I would not have wanted my children to be Nellie and Willie Oleson. My children grew up with a grandmother, lots of aunts, uncles,cousins, friends, good teachers and neighbours who helped them develop analytical and evaluative skills and I am grateful that they had not really caused me too much heartaches, knowing how difficult it is now to raise a bunch of kids.

Even my grandmother and mother watched the tv series with them when they were just small children. Yes, and my eighty year old grandmother could recognise immediately Michael Landon. She called him, "the father of the four lovely girls who always carried a pail."

We would put away all our chores and sit in front of the tv and watch the story unfold.

Little House on the Prairie was an American one-hour dramatic television program that aired on the NBC network from September 11, 1974, to March 21, 1983. Malaysia bought the rights to the series as soon as they were available.

The show was a loose adaptation of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s best-selling series of Little House on the Prairie books. Readers of the books will notice huge discrepancies between the book series and the shows.


Children every where would happily read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books their school teachers recommended. School libraries began to stock them too. I remember many parents bought Laura Ingalls Wilder's books as Christmas presents for their children.

I believe that all children who watched the series were all impacted positively by the solid social and spiritual values and creative thinking embedded in the episodes. Their horizons were definitely broadened.

According to an article, "the Little House on the Prairie influenced the culture of the American society more than any other book ever written."

I just hope that this series will also be available to this new batch of 21st century children.

Happy Father's Day.

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