A family ritual to strengthen family bonds
A family ritual to strengthen family bonds
As I was answering the Family rituals questionnaire, I felt good as i was somewhat compelled to reminisce the activities which I shared with my family when I was a child. It feels good to see that our family got a high score in the questionnaire. In only proves that we have been quite close as a family. I was only mesmerized as I recalled those moments when we simultaneously scan our old pictures and laugh at the way all of us looked in the past. I also enjoyed recalling the fond memories of our excursions when I was still a child.
Personally, I do not want to change that kind of relationship which I had with my family in the past. I would like us to maintain this close relationship we have right now. For me, this is how families are supposed to be. Families are supposed to spend most of the time together so they can be updated with the events happening to one another. In this sense, they will always be available to succor when one among the family members is having some dilemma. In addition to that, the intimacy between them will not be lost; and instead, will only be kindled.
That feeling of intimacy will make them more comfortable and more expressive with one another. The ritual that I would like to apply to my family is a unique Islamic tradition called Eid al-Fitr. Eid al-Fitr is being done some time after Ramadan. It is basically a tradition celebrating the success of the recently done Ramadan which is a whole month of blessings and joy. Moreover, Eid al-Fitr is also the extension of these blessings and joy to those who happen to be less fortunate. Every Muslim family must offer some donation of any kind to those who are in need. They do this so the needy can participate in the celebration as well.
This is done before the end of the Eid so all the people can be prepared for the jubilation. When the day of the Eid comes, all of the participants will gather outdoors – in mosques – to perform a prayer that is especially for the Eid. Afterwards, the participants will begin to disperse and mingle with one another. They will meet up with their families, friends and other acquaintances to give presents and express their cordial greetings. If they have relatives who are not present and cannot go to the event, they can call them on the hoping and likewise extend their wishes.
This event usually lasts for three days to allow the Muslims make the most out of the celebration. The meaning of this ritual is that it can manifest the unity and comradeship among its participants. By extending their warm wishes to other people and giving donations to those who are in need, the participants learn to take care aside from their selves and value other people as well. The act of giving donations can be symbolically interpreted as an act of offering something that sincerely comes from the self. The act is like transcending the self and its own interests in order to extend one’s hands to other people.
By applying this ritual with my family, I aim that my family will have a sense of responsibility and learn how to work as a group. Moreover, I can also reinforce family planning. My family will learn that they also have responsibility over other people –their fellowmen – and that all of us must unite for a singular cause. By promoting the behavior of giving donations to the poor and mingling with the family members, the unity of a singular cause is reinforced. As we harbor in mind the need to achieve a singular purpose, we will learn how to work as a group.
In the latter process, we will develop a more cohesive bond among ourselves. The part of mingling with other people can only encourage us to commune more deeply with one another and be aware of one another’s experiences. As the ritual will be repetitious, all of its objectives will be recurrently addressed. In addition to that, by mingling with the family members in the course of the ritual, we will realize the importance of family planning. In our family, there are more than ten of us who are siblings and it will surely be harder for us to greet one another while doing the ritual.
Lastly, I think that the ritual need not to change as the members of the family grow older. We must only adapt with one another and our family embers – and our oscillating temperaments, tastes and yearnings. The touchstone of the ritual is that we feel the warm company of our family members as we do and enjoy doing things together. In that sense, my two goals can be achieved. We learn that we are responsible for the welfare of our family members and we learn to work collectively in making all of us grow individually as persons and the family as a whole.