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Marriage and Family

Russian Experts Seek to Promote the Family

Russia-2015-04-24- Russian Experts Seek to Promote the Happy Family

Moscow, Russia—UPF-Russia brought together a broad range of experts for a one-day conference on strengthening the family.

The conference, entitled "Family Values and Global Challenges of the Modern Society," was held in Moscow’s famous National Hotel on April 24, 2015. The attendees included representatives of civil society and youth organizations, scientists, cultural experts, political scientists and specialists in other fields of activity.

The warm atmosphere encouraged the participants to share their experiences and ideas concerning joint projects. In order to popularize the positive experience of happy families, the participants suggested holding meetings, parties and festivals with the participation of successful families. In addition, it was proposed to give special diplomas and certificates to families with many children, as well as to creative and socially active families, to recognize their contribution to social development.

All the speakers expressed their great interest in contributing to the creation of strong and loving families and the development of family values and traditions.

Sergey Bragin, vice president of the International Federation of Non-Olympic Sports, spoke about his school for young families, where young marrieds are taught family skills, such as housekeeping and cooking.

Valentina Vladislavleva, a producer, film director, academician of the Eurasian Academy of Television and Radio, and board member of the Central House of Artists, said that she is working in her professional field to strengthen family values and traditions. She also said she is encouraging the media to portray positive experiences of family life rather than focusing on problems and difficulties.

Sergey Kazachinsky, who has a combination dating and marriage agency called the Higher School of Love, spoke of his helping married couples to achieve happiness and harmony. This unique agency not only creates new families but also helps those families that are on the verge of divorce, he said. The Higher School of Love trains people in the skills of dating, communication and interaction with the opposite sex.

Irina V. Bogacheva, president of the charitable foundation Revival and Hope, secretary of the Expert Council for Education of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, and a member of the National Coordinating Council for support of the young talents of Russia under the Government of the Russian Federation, spoke about the "Family in Multinational Russia" forum, which combines educational content and fun activities to promote happy families as the most important institution of Russian society.

She noted the difference in living conditions in urban and rural areas, stressing in this connection the need to create sites in remote areas where families can share their achievements in various spheres of life.

Irina L. Korchagina is the director of the non-profit organization Happy Family Center, which organizes a “Happy Family” educational ball. The center helps families to create and maintain family traditions, resulting in stronger internal values, strengthened faith and trust in loved ones. Such events, filled with positive feelings, establish, strengthen and enhance family values and traditions, she said.

Olga Konovalova, Ph.D., senior fellow at the Center for Strategic Research of the Academy of Social Administration, began her speech by saying that the family should not bear a sign "No Trespassing"; instead the inscription should run as "What you’ve given is then yours." Using the plot of famous literary works and interesting stories, she highlighted the beauty, depth and essence of family values, the most important of which are our contribution to family, communication, as well as dedication and loyalty.

What causes the predominance of negative information, stories of family problems, tragedies and traumas, pictures that abound in the media? How do these stories of defeat, unrequited love, violence and loss affect us?

When working in government, Irina Osokina was mainly engaged in solving issues of the poor and problem families. Over the years, she realized that she was projecting a picture of distress onto the whole world. But later, watching the families of her pupils participating in and organizing events with happy families, she was pleasantly surprised by the fact that there are notable families in which even some temporary difficulties did not lead to misery and catastrophes. There are families in which special events are celebrated without alcoholic beverages, and the celebrations are happy and joyful. And there are many such families, she said. As she became acquainted with families who do not dwell on their own problems but strive for development, attend various trainings, and grow in their profession and career, she noted that her view of the world and the family vision changed dramatically. She urged the participants to promote projects that expand the positive experience of a normal happy family and stories of success.

Gulfia Khabibullina, Ph.D., dean of the Moscow Islamic Institute, sought to show that the family can not only resist the challenges but also live in today's rapidly changing society with pleasure and joy. The basis for this, she said, could be the moral foundations, the order, culture and traditions set forth in the Scriptures. She took up the Islamic concept of adab, meaning high morality, kindness and goodness, decent behavior and character formed on the basis of knowledge. "Let the one who knows make no mistakes," she said, quoting one of the basic principles of Islamic education.

There was also the expression of disagreement between the parties. For example, the talented singer Vazgen Hovhannesyan, a Young Ambassador for Peace, said he would take reluctantly the calls to follow centuries-old traditions and laws, believing that the law without love is a dead flowchart, which destroys everything around it. "A loving person acts not out of a sense of duty but with joy," said Vazgen.

According to the singer, all the problems in this world arise from lack of love; tragedies of modern society stem from the fact that in their families, people do not receive enough care and love. The singer recited a poem about conjugal love, in which the Creator endows lovers with a great gift of new life; then he sang a song.

Sculptor Leonty V. Ozernikov, a grandfather of six, formulated the key phrase and the secret of a happy family that is able to resist all challenges of modern society: "We need to give more than to receive." He said the success and well-being in family relationships could be expressed as a simple question addressed to each member, "What do you need?”

Alina M. Kontaryova spoke about the "MnogoMama" center for assistance to large families, of which she is the president and founder. By her example she motivates women of Russia to create large families; she herself is a mother of three.

She said her generation does not understand what a large family is. Women are worried that they will lose their figure with each pregnancy and childbirth. "It's not so,” she said. “Every birth rejuvenates the mother.”

"I am for multigenerational families where children do not run away from their parents and learn to live with them in harmony,” she said. “Mom in the family gives God’s love. And this is very important."

Olga Vakulinskaya, president of UPF sister organization Women’s Federation for World Peace of Russia and an experienced lecturer on moral education, said that parents often do not know what to tell children about love, marriage, family values, chastity and fidelity. Her basic message to teenagers was that one cannot “taste samples” of love, because it leaves deep scars. Pain and disappointment can be traced in letters that students write after the lectures about purity of love, and chastity, with questions such as: "Olga, where were you before?!" However, the moral education lectures have protected many children from premature experiences of love while at the same time planting family values.

Just like many others, Olga urged participants to join efforts; she invited lecturers who are ready to give lectures on moral education.

The moderator of the roundtable, Sergey Dvoryanov, director of the "Harmony and Light" foundation, defined the motto of the meeting and guidelines for further cooperation and implementation of the ideas proposed by the participants: "Let's give more than take!"

At the end of the meeting Konstantin Krylov, secretary general of UPF-Eurasia, emphasized that such meetings allow us to experience the true delight in spirit and thought. He invited the participants to join in strengthening family values and expressed the position of UPF: to move from words to action.

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