In the constantly changing world, family is the one thing that remains constant in our life in terms of support and love. The family dynamics might change over time but their importance in our life stays the same, no matter what.
The International Day of Families will be observed today across the globe to promote awareness regarding family issues and to increase the knowledge of the social and economic processes that affect families.
Once upon a time, almost everyone lived in a joint family in Bangladesh. It was almost impossible to find a nuclear family. However, the situation has changed completely now.
Although arguments can be made from both sides of the fence regarding which one is better, what really matters is the family bond. While one can stay close to their family by living at a distance, one could also move far away from their families despite living together.
Salsabil Hayat Anannya, a resident of Kalyanpur who still lives in a joint family shared her view on the issue with this correspondence.
“I think living in a joint family provides an individual with many opportunities for their development. An individual can grow up while learning many skills like teamwork, collaboration and adjustment. These skills also help a person to adapt to different situations including professional and personal aspects,” she said.
She further said that the family bond gets stronger by living together.
My family is always there for me with their support and love, whenever I need them, Salsabil added.
However, Syeda Bhumika Mahmud, a resident of Dhanmondi, who lives in a nuclear family thinks otherwise.
“A nuclear family provides one with the space and privacy needed to manage their professional and academic life. It increases self-dependency as there are not many members in your family to rely on. Parenting also becomes difficult as many members suggest many things. Introvert members of the family cannot express their views. More views paves the way for more conflicts,” she said.
This year the International Day of Families will be observed under the theme ‘Families and Urbanization’ to raise awareness on the importance of sustainable and family-friendly urban policies.
Dr Abul Kashem Mohammad Jamal Uddin, Professor of Sociology at Dhaka University, told the Bangladesh Post that the number of nuclear families is increasing in our society and joint families have become almost extinct.
He emphasized developing family-oriented urban policies as they will become a necessity in near future.
“The categories of newly emerging families should be identified and favorable conditions should be developed accordingly for their survival. Working members are also increasing among the nuclear families. Although people make arrangements for their food by themselves now, after 15-20 years the demand for catering services will increase,” he went on to describe.
He further said that non-governmental organizations should introduce additional facilities for employees like government organizations.
He also suggested increasing the number of recreation centers to develop family-oriented urban policies.