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INSIDE THAILAND
A Focus on Strengthening the Family Institution

14 April 2015

The family is one of the smallest units in society, but its importance is the highest. In order to underline the importance of the family institution, Thailand celebrates Family Day each year.
 
14 April is observed as Family Day in Thailand. The observance has been part of the Songkran festival, the traditional Thai New Year.
 
As the Songkran festival, which is usually celebrated from 13 to 15 April, brings family members together for reunions, this occasion can promote the bond of family members and provide them with a good opportunity to spend time together and share happiness. Then the Thai government in 1990 decided to designate 14 April Family Day, and the observance of Family Day began a year later. Thailand is among the first countries in the world to celebrate this significant day.
 
In Thailand, a village house builds a strong sense of social harmony, generating compromise and tolerance. The father is regarded as the leader, while the mother also plays a dominant role, especially concerning financial matters. A sense of responsibility or accountability is also generated in early childhood. Each child must assume duties in accordance with age and ability feeding livestock, leading buffaloes to graze on nearby gestures, and taking care of younger siblings while parents are at work in the fields.
 
As children grow older, responsibilities grow and they join family discussions and participate in crucial decisions. One inviolate rule of the Thai concept of family is that children must take good care of their parents in old age. But caring for aged parents is no inconvenience at all; they are accorded an honored place in the house. This sense of duty and grace will be handed down to their grandchildren and great-grandchildren in days to come.
 
Thailand is facing many challenges in the present world. For example, a typical Thai family now comprises parents and no more than two children. It is unlike in the past, when an extended family was the norm. Family ties in the city are not as pervasive as in the village, and young married couples often set up housekeeping on their own.
 
The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security has emphasized the strengthening of the family institution. It has launched campaigns to encourage all sectors of society to play a greater role in developing and empowering families.
 
In celebrating Family Day 2015, the Ministry has set the slogan "Reconciliation Starts in the Family. The objective is to reduce conflict from age, gender, and other differences. It is believed that the acceptance of differences, as well as the showing of love and care in families, will bring about reconciliation and happiness and develop the family into a sanctuary of love, warmth, and care.
Foreign Office, The Government Public Relations Department, Office of the Prime Minister
9 Rama VI Road, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

Fax : (+66) 2618 2358 E-mail : prforeign@prd.go.th
 
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