IN Pakistan, religious days are observed regularly along with different inter-national, national and regional days. However, before coming to Australia for studies, I never noticed anyone even talking about one particular event, the World Sauntering Day, which is celebrated on June 19 every year.

Though every day is a new day, Sauntering Day is not a new day or a new invention, innovation or a recent addition to the calendar of international celebra-tions, as its history goes way back to the 1970s.

Linguists like Adam Wordsmith can explain the etymology of sauntering in detail, but, briefly and simply, sauntering means walking without any hurry or worry. This day was suggested, started and promoted by publicist W.T. Rabe.

It is said that Rabe’s mission was to initiate the idea of slowing down, instead of living in the fast lane, and looking at the world around us instead of ignoring its natural beauties. It seems the government is serious about promoting ‘sauntering’ which would explain the recent hikes in the prices of petroleum products. It wants the people to saunter rather than drive, but, if that is the case, it is missing the ‘hurry-and-worry’ difference between walking and sauntering.

Pakistanis would in any case stand to benefit by observing this day, and then to continue doing it whenever they can. Walking has its joy and benefits.

Coincidentally, this year the Father’s Day, celebrated on the third Sunday of June every year, is also falling on June 19 along with the Sauntering Day. It would be great fun if fathers should take a long and lovely walk with their children, who, in turn, should make fathers happy by sauntering with them this Sunday. Happy walking!

Ali Zain Shah
Melbourne

Published in Dawn, June 19th, 2022

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