Every nationality has its own family traditions and customs. There are also many nationalities with different family arrangements. In some countries the leading role is taken by a man, in others by a woman, and in some countries equality prevails. Family roles are often influenced by religion, culture and history. Today we are going to learn a little more about the diversity of cultural backgrounds of families around the world.
In this country, traditional families are common, with a certain hierarchy and patriarchal structure. The head of the family is the man, and the woman is entrusted with the role of caretaker of the household. Women are mostly responsible for the upbringing of children. It is not uncommon in India for several generations to live in the same house, because there is great respect for ancestors, parents and elders in the family.
China is rightly ranked as the country with the oldest customs. Family dogma has not changed for centuries. The key role in Chinese families is assigned to the father, who is responsible for the welfare of the family. A man, according to tradition, must leave behind a strong family unit. The birth of boys in China is considered a special blessing. In recent years, people in this country have taken a more responsible approach to family planning, so the number of families with many children is declining.
In Japanese families, patriarchy prevails. In the Land of the Rising Sun, children under the age of six are treated with special care. They are allowed to do almost anything, and their every wish is immediately fulfilled. Discipline is strict in Japanese schools (where children enter at the age of 5-6), that is why parents try to give their children maximum attention until they reach this age. Mothers give all their attention and free time to their children until they go to school.
Italians’ understanding of family is quite different from that of many other nationalities. Here, all relatives, even the most distant ones, are considered family. In Italy, it is traditional to have family dinners, where all relatives gather. They discuss important issues and solve problems at the table. A special role in the Italian family is played by the Italian mother; a lot depends on her decisions here.
In Germany, it is customary to get married at a mature age; families are most common after the age of 30. The bride and groom are considered to be able to support a family at a mature age and have had time to build a career. Children are brought up at home until the age of three, and then they are placed in so-called “playgroups”. The most common type of family in Germany is the classic one of mother, father and children.
Americans believe that children should be socialised as early as possible. That is why it is customary to take young children with them absolutely everywhere from an early age. Families in America are becoming more and more egalitarian, although patriarchal families are not uncommon. Americans like to get together for friendly picnics where they often discuss parenting and daily chores. In this country, families try in every way to raise a successful and happy leader.
Marriage itself is not highly valued in Mexico. The “Amigos” play a much bigger role here. The Amigos are a kind of community of men who help each other with problems and provide all kinds of support. Marriages in Mexico are often not even registered precisely because they have little social value.
Countries in Scandinavia
Here, families place great emphasis on a democratic relationship between children and parents. After the birth of a child, for example, in Norway, parents are given a year of paid leave. During this time, the parents take care of the baby in every way possible, and at the age of one year the babies go to kindergarten. The love of nature and fresh air is cultivated in children from birth. The independence of children is an important part of their upbringing.
In France, mothers do not devote all their free time to raising children. Women do not want to lose their job, so they end their maternity leave early. When raising children, the French prefer to develop their individuality, respecting their personal space. French families are egalitarian in all aspects, so all family issues are usually divided in half.
Muslim families can seem quite unusual to many people. There is often patriarchy and the role of women in the family is very modest. In Muslim culture the family is very important. Gender roles in their cultures are preserved in their traditional form: the man provides for the family and the woman takes care of the children and the household.
However, in Turkey, for example, women are increasingly taking up employment, thus gradually acquiring equal rights with men. Religion has a great influence on the family way of life. The Koran pays much attention to the question of respect for elders in the family and emphasises the modesty and holiness of marriage.
In the past, classical families with a father, mother and children were most common in Ireland. In recent decades, however, single-parent families and same-sex couples have become increasingly common. In the past, the Catholic Church played a big role in family formation, with its promotion of traditional gender roles. More recently, however, the country has become a more secular society with a more progressive attitude towards family structures.
Irish children are raised in a spirit of freedom and harmonious development. Children here are given a lot of attention, and families often spend time outdoors. They play a lot with children and try to bring out their best in them and develop their talents. Social services in Ireland ensure that the rights of the youngest members of society are respected.
In Ukraine, families are for the most part represented in the form of the classical model. A few decades ago, the main role in the Ukrainian family was played by a man. It used to be he who was responsible for the maintenance of the family. The woman was in charge of the household and the upbringing of the children. With the passage of time, women began to work more and more often, so that families are now based on equal rights. Grandparents often take an active part in the upbringing of children and are happy to take care of them.
Family units are very important in Ukraine. The whole family usually gathers on holidays. Marriage is respected in the country, but many families exist without a formal relationship. Both parents are involved in bringing up their children, so it is common for children to be brought up in a harmonious environment. Every year, parents focus more and more on the all-round development of their children, giving them a wide range of sports, art and educational activities.
In contrast, families from different continents are equally happy, despite their rather diverse family types, different approaches to child-rearing and marriage.