How often do you have a meal with your family? Given that all of us have busy working schedules, it may seem a tad tough to sit down together for a proper meal with our loved ones for most days of the week. And maybe that is why for the Chinese, the Lunar New Year reunion dinner remains as one of the most important meals in a calendar year. But do we have to pin all our hopes of having dinner with the entire family on one single day? How about the non-Chinese? Do they not eat together as well?
And these are precisely the reasons which prompted a group of 4 final year students from Nanyang Technological University, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information to lauch a social initiative campaign that aims to strengthen family bonds through meals.
Called 'The Real Reunion', the campaign aims to spread the idea that family bonding that can be brought about by reunion dinners in everyday’s life among all races in Singapore and need not be restricted only to the Chinese and does not have to happen only on festive seasons.
It is also perfectly apt that 2014 is the International Year of the Family, which made the idea of having meals with your loved ones all the more meaningful. The campaign had kicked off a few months back, and it culminated in a mass reunion dinner at Blisshouse Theme Restaurant at Central Mall for more than 50 families over the weekend.
It was our first time stepping into the restaurant, and all I have to say is that Ale was immediately taken in by the beautiful garden theme!
Okay, make that Ale AND the wifey.
Of course, dining even in the best restaurant in the world would have counted for nothing if I did not have my family members together with me. And ever since I became a parent myself, I have come to the realisation that having meals together as a family is one of the simplest yet most effective ways for me to be engaged with my monkies' lives.
And The Real Reunion team's research back me up as well, because it has been shown that having a family meal frequently together have various benefits such as lowering the rate of substance abuse, obesity, teen pregnancy and depression. The most important benefit of all is that it helps to nurture a deeper sense of connection between family members as it provides a safe space for youths to share their thoughts and ideas freely!
Well, it certainly helped some of our Parenting blogger friends joined in the mass reunion dinner too. No wonder the kids were especially rowdy!
|From left: The Wacky Duo, J Babies Dad, The J Babies, Our Princess Dana, A Happy Mum, SengkangBabies, EdUnloaded and Mumseword|
And lo and behold, the rowdiness continued to the photo booth which had been generously provided by Pink Blue Photography. As you can see, it was rather infectious too. Heh.
At the end of the day, having dinner together a family is not about having a sumptuous feast. Rather, it is feeling blessed to have your loved ones by your side and sharing the things that everyone loves together. And we do not have to wait for festive holidays to show much we cherish each other, for we can also do so everyday.
To learn more about the Real Reunion initiative, visit www.facebook.com/therealreunionsg.