Day of Families Observed in Russia

Russia-2011-05-15-Day of Families Observed in Russia

UPF-Russia organized International Day of Families events in Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Ryazan, Yekaterinburg, and Perm.

Moscow - On May 14 women from different nationalities came together in Moscow to celebrate the International Day of Families. This event was organized by joint effort of three organizations – the Women’s Federation for World Peace of Moscow, the inter-ethnic club "Sodruzhvestvo," and the Moscow Jewish Community. People from different nationalities shared their secrets of a happy family life and presented cultural entertainment for each other. We had speakers representing Israel, Japan, Austria, Armenia, and Russia. The atmosphere of the program was very warm and friendly. People of different nationalities expressed their unanimous desire to meet more often and join efforts in creating a kind, pure, and moral society. We hope, it was just the beginning of our fruitful cooperation.

Nizhny Novgorod - Youth Ambassadors for Peace organized a May 15 celebration in a city park. Thirteen volunteers organized various competitions and tests for parents and their children related to family values. Family competitions became a main part of this event. One activity was to create a family coat of arms, and another was to guess the names of songs. Basically, six families participated in the beginning of the celebration; during the first competition they were joined by many others who were passing by. It was clear that even within such a short a period of time, the attitude of spouses to each other greatly improved, becoming warmer and more empathic, which is very important for strengthening family ties.

Novosibirsk - A seminar and discussion on the theme of “Family wealth – Russia wealth” related to the International Day of Families took place at the House of Culture in Novosibirsk on May 12. A discussion on “Solving the problem of poverty through consolidating families” was followed by the practical activity of collecting clothing for poor families. In Russia the poverty rate is about 13.1 percent (18.5 million)! One of the speakers was Dmitry Oficerov, Secretary General of the Universal Peace Federation in Siberia, who talked on the theme of “The Family as the School of Love, Peace, and Prosperity.”

Tatyana Kondratyeva, Ph.D. in pedagogical sciences and director of the Family Education and Home Education Center under the Novosibirsk Pedagogical University, offered participants sets of scientific literature issued by her center and presented the results of research about the opinion of future teachers about the popularity of the institution of the family. “We came to the conclusion that our students are not interested in the information about creating good families. None them reads the modern scientific literature, prose; no one visits informational portals on the Internet on family subjects. Their main source of information on the matter comes from their peers and their grandmothers and grandfathers.”

During the second part of the program, children’s creative groups from the House of Culture performed dances and songs. The children were beautifully dressed they moved and sang very gracefully in their unity. Then, during the final tea party, the guests voted for ideas of solving problems of poor families and social isolation which were put forward at a series of round tables “Family remains – Russia remains” initiated by the “ZITO” organization ”Family service of Novosibirsk.”

On the following day, all the clothing collected for the poor families were sent to the Complex Center of Social Protection of the Leninsky district; out of a population of 172,000; 9 percent live in poor families. Totally, in Russia, 18.5 million people live below the poverty level. Volunteers proposed organizing monthly activities of this kind to support poor families.

Ryazan - A “Heart to Heart” party related to the International Day of Families, initiated by the Universal Peace Federation, took place on May 14. If we are concerned about our future, embodied in our children, we should remember that the foundation of peace is the family with both parents and children. All people, of every national, racial, and religious background, and especially children, desire for happiness. Families should educate members to have an open heart towards anyone. At the party the guests talked about children, children’s rights and interests, and the necessity to build relations on the basis of mutual understanding and universal values.

An Associate Professor of Psychology in the Pedagogical Technologies Department of Ryazan State University, E.M. Adjiyeva, spoke on “Family Education: Problems and Trends.” The Chairman of the Peace Council, Ryazan chapter, A.A. Karpus, spoke on “International Family of Russia.” The UPF was represented by L.P. Shmakova. Everyone was of the opinion that we should focus our attention on spiritual development, because without it we could hardly create good families. The participants enjoyed beautiful music performed by actors of the local musical theater “Diapason.” It helped to create an atmosphere of benevolence, friendship, and mutual respect.

Yekaterinburg - The all-Russia action “500 Cleanings a Day” initiated by the organization “No More Litter” took place in the Mayakovsky City Park on May 15. The initiators’ partners, the UPF-Ural chapter, proposed to link to the celebration of the International Day of Families. The idea was enthusiastically accepted! Before cleaning, the participants organized a "Run Hour” event during which the runners handed out booklets to passers-by with information about the International Day of Families and its objectives and goals. About 90 people took part in cleaning the area, among them families, parents, and children. They were determined to make the area where they walk, work, and rest clean and beautiful. We consider the participation in such socially useful tasks a very important activity that helps the children to see and follow their parents’ good example.

On the eve of the International Day of Families, students from the 10th form in School #60 in Yekaterinburg met with UPF-Ural chapter representatives on May 10. Participants discussed family values in the form of the interactive workshop. The activities involved everybody, including teachers who came to the meeting. They discussed the following questions: why does one need a family? what is the foundation of the family? and if and when does one need to create a family?

It was a very lively discussion; children gave their opinions and comments on family values. It was clear that the questions were brewing and close to home (more that 50 percent of the children live in one-parent families). Children started reflecting on the issues and came to the conclusion that the family is unequivocally needed because it plays an important role in personal development and hence in development of our society. Moreover, it is the source of human happiness!

A meeting on the theme of “Family to family and through family” related to the International Day of Families took place in Yekaterinburg on May 17. Having accepted the invitation of the city library #7, UPF activists of the Ural chapter together with the representatives of the Ural branch of the Tribal History Studies Association talked to 4th-form students from School #74 about different family aspects: traditions  in different historical periods; what makes families of different epochs alike; the potential of teaching core values of human character in the family; the necessity of knowing one’s genealogy and feeling an unbreakable connection between generations; and learning to respect one's elders and treat the members of one's family with love.

"Since olden times, people received a patronymic from their fathers; hence we have the word 'Fatherland.' Through respecting our forefathers and multiplying their good deeds we should respect and honor our native countries. Through respecting our fatherland we learn to respect other countries and states, thus promoting the world peace," said L.A. Tenyavskaya, the hostess of the cozy reading hall, to the children. The head of the UPF-Ural chapter, N. Yerofeeva, told the audience about the meaning of the International Day of Families; she drew the attention of the children to the important role of the family. This was a one-day event but the participants determined to remember and practice the conclusions made at the meeting and come together again next year to share their achievements.

"Old Photo History" is one of the favorite topics for encouraging communication between the generations. A meeting related to the UN International Day of Families took place at city library #7 of the Information Center “Pravoberezhny” on May 17. Students in the 6th form of School #74 came with their teachers to share about their relatives who worked hard during the Great Patriotic War (1941–1945) on the home front in different cities of our motherland. UPF Ural chapter volunteers N.P. Deerbysheva and A. Gribanov facilitated the discussions. Through studying old photos of war times and talking to their relatives about events of the past, children should think seriously about what their grandmothers and grandfathers had to endure on the way to the long-awaited victory in their childhood! The participants came to the important conclusion: our forefathers not only survived but also created peace for us by sacrificing their efforts and health for the sake of others. Their parents did everything to make it easier for their children, who also tried to help the parents forget about their difficulties. Such sincere unity within the families made it possible for the people to survive and serve the community, their fatherland. They lived for the sake of peace; they lived for the sake of others. It is important for us to know our roots and our forefathers, and follow their good examples!

Perm - On a spacious glade of the woodland of the Kirov District in the Perm Region, the Women’s Federation for World Peace initiated a celebration of the International Day of Families on May 15. Among the participants there were citizens of Perm. In the family atmosphere they gathered around the campfire talking about the background and goals of the date established by the UN. Also the participants shared their experiences and memories of their families, talked about their progresses and difficulties in their life course, and described problems that confronted them in the process of educating their children. They sang favorite songs, played games, and organized competitions on the theme of “My family.” The event attracted attention of the people from other glades, and they joined the celebration. In the end, they cleaned the woodland territory from litter. There were altogether about 20 people who participated in the activity. Members of the Perm branch of the Women’s Federation for World Peace express their warm gratitude to Igor Kuzminykh for his significant impact on the event!

A celebration of the UN International Day of Peace took place in the Trutnyeva Library on May 13; it was attended by students in the first form of School #93 and their parents and other relatives. About 40 people gathered in the cozy reading hall. Children learned about the history of the UN International Day of Families and saw videos about family values, shared about their own families and the family tree of each other. Together with their parents children took part in various competitions. There was also competition of drawings on the theme of “My family.” Galina Perova, a well-known writer in Perm and author of the famous book of fairy-tales Tears of Spring in Love, came to the celebration. She told about her books featuring people who are very kind, bright, and socially significant. After the program the guests enjoyed a tea party. The efforts of the organizers (Women’s Federation for World Peace) were highly appreciated by all participants and the administration of the library. During the celebration, people sang many songs. The family of L.P. Kuklina, the organizer of the program and president of the Women’s Federation for World Peace, showed a good example of family relations, mutual respect, and mutual support. She came to the library together with her husband, who helps her in all her initiatives. By the way, in December of this year this wonderful couple will celebrate 30 years of marriage.

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