Prince backs National Family Day
Siti Hajar

The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports yesterday unveiled the date of a newly established national celebration that will see a nationwide effort to strengthen the family institution across all walks of life in Brunei Darussalam's four districts.

Announced during a dialogue session between the ministry that was graced by His Royal Highness Prince Haji 'Abdul 'Azim, the Acting Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Datin Paduka Hajah Adina binti Othman said that the National Family Day will be celebrated May 6, 2012 that will see numerous activities organised exclusively for families.

With its theme being 'Keluarga Ku Harapan Ku' or 'My Family My Hope', the celebration will engage 12 pre-determined zones around the country with each zone organising its own form of family-oriented activities from food promotions by participating outlets to gatherings for a fun-filled day apt for parents and children alike.

In encouraging dialogue participants yesterday and the community in general, HRH Prince Haji 'Abdul 'Azim said that the one-day event can be a stepping stone towards improving family relationships.

"What you do on that day depends on you and what you want to do with your family," HRH said.

"If you feel like you've not been very close with you parents, you can start by giving them, say, a Happy Family Day card," Prince 'Azim suggested.

"That would be a step in the right direction to build communication, respect and trust in the future ... Take the first step and this (National Family Day) is what it is about."

Though activities have been lined up for the national celebration slated to become a yearly event, numerous suggestions were heard from a section of around 200 attendees comprising youths aged 15 to 30 on how to further enliven the first National Family Day, which conveniently falls on a Sunday.

From suggestions to make the National Family Day as a public holiday to encourage more families to participate, to reviving Jerudong Park, participants from schools, Non-Government Organisations representing those requiring special needs, those who provided feedback had also recommended for action in curbing the use of technology during family time which has been recognised as a hindrance towards building a strong family foundation.

One attendee suggested promoting a "nostalgic" approach and encouraging family members to "write letters" and mail them to intended recipients as writing is one of the easiest ways to express emotions.

As the family institution plays a very crucial role in building communities in a country known for tight-knit families, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has, on many occasions, emphasised the importance of a strong family institution responsible for educating the nation's future leaders.

Yesterday's dialogue session, meanwhile, was also aimed at recognising youths' expectations in overcoming issues faced by parents and their children and bridging the gap between the two generations. - Borneo Bulletin (19 April 2012)