We Are Not A Family Anymore? Point Blank with Asian Weekly 18th November, 2016

25 Nov

We Are Not A Family Anymore?

Family Dinner Courtesy The Kitchen Skinny

Family Dinner Courtesy The Kitchen Skinny

Our universe is experiencing new changes such as the “super moon” so what if the universe at home is going through a new phase? Should we be alarmed?

I remember way back in 90s is school we were taught about the fact that a family’s structure is “nuclear” meaning Father, Mother and Children. They could not have put it better, after all “nuclear” means destruction. Are the families of today failing, falling, faltering to whims and excuses?

“If you can eat with mates or friends or family, I mean, it’s such a brilliant thing isn’t it? If you feel really rubbish and you have a nice bit of food it makes you feel good, you know?

Jamie Oliver

Once upon a time there were no restaurants or coffee shops and so there was no option but to eat the meal together. Depending from family to family, you either spoke a word or none at all. If the head of the family usually the Grandfather or maybe elder father (some call Tayaji or Bade Kaka) then he dictates what happens. Unfortunately you still see this situation running on an Indian TV serial. If not, the Grandmother usually ran the scene while her daughter-in-laws slaved in the kitchen. Yes I will use the word slaved, because it was like churning food for the workers at the end of the day. Gracefully much has changed for the better.

Over the last 20 years, the home has become free, grandparents older and letting go. In most families they are free to choose what to eat and when. Sometimes they go out for family outings for the big meal at the new vegetarian restaurant or the big birthday party. Lest I forget the other old way of catching up with the “extended family” was over a birthday or anniversary party. Luckily it has cut down to the 10s only, such that only on the 10th or 40th anniversary or the sweet birthdays like 16, 21 and so on. Only disadvantage to the birthdays is that children are pickier and showoffs compared to earlier (a discussion for another day).

“A bachelor’s life is a fine breakfast, a flat lunch, and a miserable dinner.”

Francis Bacon

Having a meal together has far more advantages. Let’s start from the beginning, the meal. This meal is prepared after careful thought and love, a little bit of shopping and few suggestions. At the end of the day it brings all the members to the table to enjoy the feast, whether it is breakfast, lunch or dinner. This is an excellent way to share the food, love and conversation. However things are not as poetic.

The kitchen is a buzz from the crack of dawn. Every member of this “nuclear” family has their own path to get on and they hardly sit down and share the breakfast together. Due to work and mostly traffic constraints, the children are being bussed, adults grabbing a protein bar and rushing off. Come lunchtime, it is usually the housewife and the maid of the day or month to share the lunch with. Come afternoon tea, only rarely is someone crunching to crisps and just reminiscing, there is so much debate of which “herbal” tea is the best flavor and this diet hangman kills it all. Let’s get to dinner and it is a disaster. Everyone returns home with their baggage of the day, stare into their smart phones and never speak up or contribute or even step into the kitchen to help or cook.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, the mummy is the cook and cleaner. The daddy is the provider and the children are the mouths to feed. Luckily there is conscious change with a few families, who have set ground rules of no phones at meals, eating together and sharing thoughts and also cooking up the menu of the day or week. These are precious moments, do not give them away to your annoying boss, partner or school teacher. Be with the family, they are yours, give them a little of you, get a little of them, even if it comes in a slice.

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Posted by on November 25, 2016 in Uncategorized


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