A photo showing a father holding an umbrella for his son in heavy rain on a street in New York while he himself was getting completely soaked has touched the heart of millions of netizens after emerging online last week.
According to The Independent, the photo was taken in Queens and posted to image-sharing websites like Imgur, Reddit and 9Gag, published under a headline which simply read: “Dads”.
The father, who was quickly dubbed “Umbrella Dad” was soon identified as Liu Qiao, a manager from JPMorgan Chase. Liu told reporters that he goes to pick up his four-year-old son, Liu Ruozhuo, at a kindergarten in Flushing after he finishes work at 5 p.m. each day. The picture was taken on September 10.
“It rained harder when we were walking out of the school gate. As our home is not far away, I didn’t take shelter from the rain,” Liu recalled. “It’s a parent’s instinct to do so, I didn’t expect I would have got so many compliments from netizens.”
Some netizens questioned as to why Liu didn’t hold his kid in his arms. In response he said that it was due to his philosophy on parenting. “I want him to be able to deal with stuff on his own, so I wouldn’t hold him or help carry his bag,” Liu said. “But he’s still young. I didn’t want him to catch a cold.”
The “Umbrella Dad” added that he and his wife have been striving to provide the best for their son and that they always encourage him to learn various things, including piano, drums and Taekwondo. They hope he will discover a passion and find his own way later in his life.
Weighing in on this important affair, Ruozhuo’s school president said that he is an intelligent and polite child, reflective of good parenting.
Liu, who was born in the 1980s, is originally from Tianjin. After he graduated from Nanjing University in 2003, he worked at Ministry of Commerce in China. Then then worked as a commerce diplomat for three years in South Africa.
In 2008, he moved to Britain and started working at JPMorgan Chase, but as his wife wanted to study in the US, his company sent him to New York last year.
“The viral picture will not change our lives, but I will keep doing my best to give him the best and let him find what he really wants to do by himself,” Liu said.
By Lucy Liu
[Images via Guanchazhe]