Building Family Togetherness - A disappearing factor

India
October 3, 2006 11:24pm CST
In this era of fast-paced life, one of the victims is family ties. The 'family togetherness' that used to exist say, as recently as 2 decades ago, particularly with reference to my country, India, is fast disappearing in most homes. The mother gets up early, prepares tiffin, wakes up the children, packs their carriages, and proceeds to her job. The father finishes reading his paper, orders that something be done (to noone in particular, but to everyone in general), and leaves for his job, after briefly checking the money position with his wife. The children get up lazily, finish their toilet, have tiffin (breakfast) and wearily trudge to their bus-stops with the school-bags thrown carelessly round their shoulders. In the evening it is TV that cuts off 'togetherness' and 'sharing'. It used to be only at the breakfast table ( in US, UK and other developed countries) or the supper/dinner table (for Indians and others) where family members used to share in the small joys and disappointments of life, that ultimately used to give great moral strength to children in their adult lives. Where is it all going, or gone?
1 person likes this
12 responses
@ssh123 (31104)
• India
4 Oct 06
Ours is a very big family - 5 brothers (all married) 4 sisters all married and their children, together it will make something like 100 persons. At least once in 3 months we all meet at one place or the other to exchange pleasantaries, there is exchange of gifts. It is nice to see the family gathering much to the envy of other families. Sometimes, I have seen the members of the family is helping less fortunate members with finances and guidelines. Eventhough I am not in the joint family like other members, meeting 3 or 4 times in a year is keeping all of us together.
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• India
5 Oct 06
I envy you, ssh123 !! Ours is a huge family (my father had 5 brothers and 6 sisters!). But unlike yours everyone scattered, and now we dont know how many members are there in the next two generations! Most have settled in the US and on family in Melbourne,Australia, One in Canada. In fact is a family that has gone entirely astray in the sense that we have missed the point and the bus! Even my own brother, with whom I frequently communicate via email, has been settled there for 25years. I last saw him 12 years ago when he attended our eldest brother's daughters wedding at a place called Guntur in A.P. State of India. My mother too lives with my brother in US. She is 76. I last saw her 5 years ago. She went to US to be with him of her own volition.
@ssh123 (31104)
• India
5 Oct 06
The only way you can keep the family members together is to build immediately, a family tree with correct postal address, e-mail, telephone number and down load in your own website and ask all the family members to visit the website.
@sherinek (3323)
• United States
4 Oct 06
Its some thing disappearing from families in my country as well. The same routine is followed as you mentioned. But I have taken some steps to hold my family together cos I believe it is very good to do it. Mornings are hectic. But in the evening between 7 and 7.30, me, my hubby and two kids gather on the bed and share all our day's happenings. Kids say about their school day and we also join in and share our stories with them. I think its nice and progressive
1 person likes this
• India
4 Oct 06
sherinek, I think you have taken a great step! Unfortunately,its many years since I have been married, and my wife has never understood the significance of such important get-togethers. As a result, my wife and son have their dinner watching TV and I have it seperate, also watching TV after they finish and leave or vice versa.I was brought up to respect certain British customs (my father worked in a british company), though our family are basically Hindus of India, and my father maintained this tradition of having a family get-together at dinner time, starting say around 8 pm and ending at around 9 pm (during which period he would have 2 rounds of whisky with plenty of dilution. He rarely varied or exceeded his limit!). During this period we would all share our happenings of the day. Things used to go very well because my father was blessed with a great sense of humour(having read 'PG WODEHOUSE', etc). He had a great collection of English books (which is also an English tradition).
@sherinek (3323)
• United States
4 Oct 06
Thanks. I try. Suryachalla, I sincerely wish you could talk to your wife about this. I think she would understand your feelings. Its very important that you share your thoughts with your spouse. This is family business, you cant just give up. Good luck.
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@oriental (1051)
• Uruguay
4 Oct 06
Everybody should try to preserve small pieces of time for that purpose.
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• India
4 Oct 06
That's right Oriental, it's such 'small pieces' in life that add up and take one on a long but meaningful journey of life!
5 Oct 06
I agree, there needs to be time to be together as a family.
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5 Oct 06
I wouldn’t say it use to be the breakfast time for people in the UK, though I understand it is in the US. A lot of ’together’ time in England came after everybody was home from work and school, whether it was sharing the day or points of interest we’d all be sat around eat and discussing. Though families will always have different attitudes towards their family, mine was close and is close. That after marriage we all still have a ‘Sunday dinner’ together.
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• India
26 Nov 06
It's tough to give a best answer - tishabest, rolcam, sherinek, 4monsters4me, ssh123, sunsix yourself ! Most have posted good viewpoints ! But I have a job to do !
• United States
4 Oct 06
This is very true everything is fast pace seeing all the conviences we have now. The family is lost there is no values, morals, respect, waiting, or love.
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• India
5 Oct 06
I like your succint reply - particularly the word 'waiting', which is in this context, a weighty word!
@tishabest (602)
• Belgium
4 Oct 06
It is indeed deplorable and we are becoming more and more individualistic all the time. In order to preserve that way of life we must refuse to accept certain things like turning the TV on right away during dinner.
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• India
4 Oct 06
yea, particularly TV, because it is the commonest dais for disagreement within the family!
@prasad1961 (5603)
• India
1 Mar 07
Yes, it is depended on the time factor of the earning member and his working area. In order to earn more we leave the family attachment and gets to long distances, leaving all relations at a position out of our control.
@DeenaD (2688)
• United States
15 Oct 06
It's sad. The family has fallen apart.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Oct 06
Seems like you guys are catching up to the US in that respect. It is sad. It is hard when both parents work and as kids get older and have their own interests. I remember my mom trying very hard to get us all to eat together. It didn't work for our family. My dad was always grumpy from work (if he was even home) and meals always ended in a fight. So it worked better for us if we all ate in seperate rooms (that was when me and my brother were teens). Now I have a family of my own. I used to make them come into the kitchen for breakfast so we could all eat together but we moved and our kitchen is too small for 6 people (couldn't even fit 3 around the table). So we eat in the living room. We have family TV time where we all watch reruns of the Simpsons (my kids' favorite time of day) and talk about what happened that day. We play board games and such. The TV is always on, though. It is actually what bonds our family together. It gives us something to talk about. Works for us.
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@unnigec (246)
• India
4 Oct 06
i think building family togetherness is very important. The main reason why the togetherness is disappearing is due to members getting jobs in far away places and hence having to shift to that place.
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27 Sep 07
My wife and I have deliberately structured our lives to keep the family ties. As we are both self employed we can dictate our own working hours. We both start work after we have took the our kids to school, and we both finish when they finish school. Before the kids are allowed to play our we both help with thier home work. Every evening the TV goes off for Tea (dinner) and we all eat together around the dining table. After bath time we listen to them read there school books. I think family ties are very important and every weekend the whole family gets together for a drink and to talk about the week. It help our kids and teaches them morals and respect. Sadly current life means mum and dad dont see much of their children with work and other commitments.
@toonatoons (3740)
• Philippines
15 Oct 06
in my country, either the mother or the father, or even both of them, are working in a dollar-earning country, leaving their children in the care of their relatives. family togetherness, as you put it, seems, indeed, to be disappearing.