The concept of family is always attributed to humans, regardless of race and ethnicity. For some, the term “family” means having a “mother, father, and siblings” who would take care of them through thick and thin. For others, a “family” is a group of friends whom they can share their life with. Regardless of who comprises the family, it is still connoted as people whom we can stand by no matter what happens. There are two types of family: the nuclear and the extended family. The nuclear family is comprised of the immediate members of the family, which included the mother, father and the children.
The extended family on the other hand, is comprised of the nuclear family with the their other relatives, such as the grandparents. In Asia, the extended family is often practiced for they have close family relations. Through the years, I have observed that the concept of family has changed. Long before, the parents and the children have this certain bond that stays until the children have their own families. Nowadays, independence is practiced, with the children leaving the house of their parents at the legal age of eighteen.
When this happens, they are forced to fend for themselves and become independent, living a life away from their families and the life they used to live. On the other hand, Asians still try to live with their families as long as they can. Sometimes, the child only lives their parents when he/she is getting married. Convalescent homes are not that popular in Asia either. When the parents get old and weak, they stay with one of their children so that they may be well taken care of. This is in contrast to the culture Americans have wherein majority of the elderly are confined in convalescent homes and being attended by care givers.
I personally believe that families are important to each and everyone of us. The concept of family has given us a sense of security, even during our developing years. If one can observe, children become attached to their family members at a young age. This is primarily because they know that no matter what happens to them, they may be well cared for and are safe from whatever harm that may come their way. Our household is not like any other household. I belong to an extended family, wherein I live with my immediate family and my grandparents. Sometimes, my cousins who visit from the other countries even come over and stay with us.
Our family has very strong relations, and we are very much attached to each other. As a young child, I remember always seeing my family together. We would eat breakfast together, then meet at the dinner table for dinner. This is where we share our stories about what had transpired the whole day. We comfort each other during heartaches, and are proud at each member during achievements. After dinner, all of us have our own set of chores. One would wash the dishes, the other would clean the table, while my grandparents would go to the living room to relax.
Our family believes that the elderly should not be allowed to work in our house. Therefore, all they had to do was make the most out of their lives. Aside from the annual events celebrated by our family, we also have a weekly family bonding. We spend less for these activities for we believe that it is through the actual family bonding that we form an inseparable connection with each other. We go to the living room to talk, and watch movies on the DVD. Sometimes, we make fun of the other members of our family, as a sort of relaxation and as part of the fun. This also helps us to be more open to the members of the family.
Now that I am older, my concept of family has not changed. I still believe that a strongly knit family would help me become a better individual. From time to time, I leave our humble home to go out and live a life of my own. In the end, I still come back to spend time with my family. All of those years I spent with them always comes back to me, making me love them more dearly. When I have my own family, I know that I will still practice the culture and belief that my parents and our family line has practiced throughout these years. It is through a good family upbringing that we become better people in this world.