Blog: Peaceful family, peaceful world!
April 19, 2023

Blog: Peaceful family, peaceful world!

More than ever, the world needs peace. As individuals, we can feel powerless in the face of forces beyond our control. But each human being is born and raised in a family, which plays a huge role in their development. In Azerbaijan, there is a saying that “Every family is a small society”, and a peaceful family, raising peaceful children is a small, individual step towards a peaceful world.

It is the family values and connections that define a person as an individual. Each family has its own values that inspire other members to follow in their footsteps, and this, in turn, creates cultural attitudes in every country.

In every single family, there are norms and values that have evolved across the generations. The relationship between family members, particularly the father and mother impacts the thinking and behaviour of the children, whether or not they are aware of this influence. And this effect then leads their entire life and defines the person they will become in the future. Thus, establishing a family actually carries a tremendous responsibility, because not only are you raising your own children, but you are contributing to the broader society in which they will live and contribute.

Given the importance of this responsibility, many countries offer a range of workshops, seminars or courses to support future parents in nurturing a healthy family. EurofamNet is a striking example to promote knowledge and education for families. It is a pan-European family network that focuses on family support policies and practices, aimed at building collaborations between researchers, policy-makers, children and families to support society as a whole. This outstanding network encompasses 12 European organisations, 35 countries, and 165 participants that ensure children’s rights and families’ well-being.

In my homeland, Azerbaijan, family means more than everything. Here your family is a part of you. Wherever you go, whatever you do, you always carry your family with you. Before every step, and every decision, you are going to take, you think of your family and the values and norms they have passed on to you. Families are also at the heart of national holidays such as Novruz. On the Novruz holiday, which is celebrated to welcome spring on 20-22 March, people make bonfires, which is a symbol of purification and clarification, plant trees and make traditional pastries to come together and summon old memories. People also help their neighbours as well as others in need, so Novruz is also considered as a time of charity. Indeed, for Azerbaijanis a family is not just a father, mother or siblings, it is every person that you appreciate in your life. Here, your best friend or a close neighbour or even a person from a different nationality can be your family by just sharing and having the right values. I even once attended a workshop held by a European professor, who said the hospitality of Azerbaijani families should be a subject taught to learn about the power of human connections.

In a nutshell, being part of a family is crucial for making our world a better place, preserving and transmitting the values and connections of past generations to help us play a peaceful and positive role in the world of today.

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