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Article by - Jahnavi Bali

In 1993, the General Assembly of the United Nations decided in a resolution that 15 May of every year should be observed as The International Day of Families. This day provides an opportunity to promote awareness about family issues and to increase the knowledge of the social, economic, and demographic processes affecting families. The UN realized that to achieve Sustainable Development Goals, families and family-oriented policies and programs are vital. Though for most of us, 15 May is an opportunity to enjoy with our family and embrace them.

In the hustle of modernization, we seem to have forgotten the value our families bring to our lives. As the entire world now spends its time committed to self-isolation, a lot of us are also finally spending time with our families. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that the pandemic has brought the fortunate among us closer to our families.

Recently, I asked some of my friends, "How has the COVID-19 Pandemic affected your relationship with your families?" The answers were incredible. While a few of them found no difference, a vast majority said that washing utensils, mopping, sweeping, and dusting their houses helped bond with their families and develop a deeper understanding of each family member's role and responsibilities. One of my friends, Anagha, says that she and her sister now together do the laundry, cooking and setting out of vessels, while her parents take care of washing the dishes.

An inevitable part of living with your families within four walls for such an extended period of time is the frequent arguments and banter.

Alisha enjoys pranking her 8-year-old brother more than ever, and Hita

enjoys debates with her family over dinner.

Something that has also become common again in these times is the entire family eating together. Whether it is breakfast, lunch, or dinner, we can all take out time for at least one meal where we sit with our families and bond over food.

Watching television shows and movies, funny YouTube videos, singing, dancing to songs, playing board games, and doing exercises together are some other bonding activities that you can certainly do with your family! Many elder siblings also have to act as part-time tutors for their younger siblings, me included! Dishita rightly says, "Due to the lockdown, interaction has massively increased, but it's only because of the free time on our hands. Now, there is no pressure of submission deadlines or any school frenzy that would normally force us early to bed."

If after reading all this you're wondering how you can get closer to your family, here's a quick list of some more activities for you and your family to do together - reading aloud your favorite short stories, drawing, painting, baking a cake or cooking a delicacy, gardening at home, redecorating by upcycling things at home and/or organizing your family photo albums!

Most importantly, stay home and stay safe. Utilize as much time as you can appreciating and bonding with your loved ones, for who knows when we might get such an opportunity again.

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