Family Traditions Matter!
It was scorching heat and a ball of fire was burning and radiating heat waves from the sky. In the absence of an air conditioner or air cooler, it felt like the house would also start burning. I was quite uncomfortable and melting down because of the heat. We all were trying to catch an afternoon nap in the summer, but it seemed a far-fetched dream. I was just 8 years old, and we were a family of 5. There was a fan above my head spinning at full speed, but the air coming out was heavy and warm. It wasn’t giving any comfort instead it was suffocating to be in that room. However, going out in the blazing sun was not an option. Suddenly, I saw my mom throw a bucket full of water on the living room floor and cover it with a thick bedsheet. Our living room was quite spacious and didn’t contain much furniture either. Then, my mom asked us to lie down. I found it quite weird but then. Oh, it felt like heaven. I felt the coolness of the drenched bedsheet on my skin, and I got a little wet too, but it felt great. It only took a second for the entire room to be filled with icy cool air. Finally, I could get some rest and escape some heat and sweat by taking a power nap.
Well, this was a daily routine in summers, in the blazing heat of Ahmedabad city in India. It became like a family tradition. Every year in summer usually between the end of May and July, every other day to kill the heat, my mom splashed the water on the floor to get relief from the blistering heat. Once the sun was down, we used to enjoy the pink, cool drinks like “Rooh Afza” or the sweet, minty, green color drink “Khus -Khus”. If we were lucky, we kids used to get mango flavor “Rasna” drink too. I remember those things so vividly, even though they were small. I consider them as family traditions during summer. We all were so used to this routine every summer and if it was not repeated it felt like something important was missed out from life. Similarly visiting my Grandparents every summer and spending time with cousins was another family tradition that continued for many years until we reached high school. Due to other priorities and the pressure of studies we had to break this tradition, however, there are many such memorable stories to be shared and cherished. My mom always used to make a variety of sweets during special occasions and festivals and this tradition has been passed on from one generation to another.
Talking of Family traditions, every family has certain routines, practices, and beliefs which they follow, no matter what. We don’t realize when these repetitive activities become part of the culture. But now when I look back and think about them, they were fun things. These are some beautiful memories of my life, and I would never forget them. Now, I have my own family and I hope I can create such unforgettable moments and stories for my son. I believe family traditions are important not only for kids but also for the parents and other family members.
Recently we went for a long drive, and I asked my son what our Family Tradition is. He was silent for a minute and then asked what I meant. I shared some of my family stories with him to give him an idea. He suddenly said, well one of our Family traditions is to have pizza, wings, and wine every Friday evening. Isn’t it mom? I was like ..what!! Well, on the lighter side, yeah, every Friday evening is movie time, and we all enjoy Pizza, Chicken wings (Mango Habanero and Barbeque), and wine. (Wine for adults only of course :). Quite an interesting tradition! Jokes apart but there are many benefits of family traditions.
Family Traditions give children a sense of identity. Whether your traditions are based on religion, culture, or fun, they’re important. They serve as reminders of where your family came from or as memories that help your family. It brings consistency in life. It provides a sense of security and comfort to kids and adults. It is quite predictable, but don’t you think everyone looks forward to such coherence in life.
Traditions build a bond between family members. Spending quality time together with extended family during strategic times can have the potential to nurture important relationships. It inculcates the values and culture of family in kids. It helps to generate trust in each other, which is the critical foundation of other beliefs. Family rituals teach strong values in a fast-paced, ever-changing world.
Moreover, traditions create stories to be shared in the future with everyone. They remind everyone that they are connected to a bigger story. In our recent long road trip by car, I shared so many stories with my son about our family traditions and he was amused to hear them. He found them inspiring, and emotional and some were funny too. I am sure, you might be having such pleasant moments, somewhere deep in your heart. Please share them with your kids, family members, or friends, whenever you get the opportunity. It is important to maintain and share them as they create positive experiences and a sense of belonging.