National Family Celebrations 2012 puts its focus on reaching out to the youth.
By Dawn Seow
Former President of the United States of America, Franklin Roosevelt, once said, “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” To build a future of strong families, education on strong family ties and values must start with the youth of today.
This was why the National Family Council decided to focus on reaching out to the youth this year. For the past 27 years, the Council has been celebrating the family movement with its annual National Family Celebrations in June. The main aim of this year’s celebration will be to encourage youth to place their families as the first priority.
Launched at Suntec Convention on May 25, National Family Celebration 2012 saw more than 3,000 youths and their families participating either in performances or as part of the audience. With the theme “Family Time Odyssey: Past. Present. Future”, the committee hopes to bring them on an experiential journey through time, encouraging them to connect with one another.
Seah Kian Peng, co-chairperson of the NFC 2012 organizing committee said, “We hope to remind youths that success in life is not defined narrowly in academic and economic terms, but should include having a healthy and happy family. We hope to encourage youths to live a happy and fulfilling life by spending effort to build up their family relationships, just as they would build up other aspects of their lives, like friendship, academic credentials or career.”
Gracing the event was Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Finance and Minister for Manpower, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, together with the Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Madam Halimah Yacob, and Senior Parliamentary Secretary for MCYS, Mr Sam Tan.
The afternoon event, hosted by MediaCorp Channel 5 variety show The Noose’s BB See (starring Chua En Lai) and Adrianna Wow (starring Michelle Chong), featured performances like beat-boxing and dance performances by youths and their parents as well as members from People’s Association dance club.
Norhayati Binte Hussain, 46, a housewife, and her daughter, Nur Shakina, 21, a student from ITE College West, were one of the parent-youth pair doing a dance performance at the opening of the event. Excited to try something new, Shakina jumped at the chance when her school advisor asked for volunteers.
“I actually got closer to my mum through the dance.” Shakina shared. “Whenever I get home my mother will get me to practise with her and once we start practicing, we will just laugh at our mistakes and help each other improve on the dance steps. From the practices we get to talk better than before.”
Her mother, who was initially reluctant, also enjoyed herself. “It’s exciting,” said Norhayati. “It’s my first thing partnering with my own daughter and I feel very honoured to have that chance and I’m so happy.”
NFC 2012 aims to reach out to at least 12,000 youths and their families in the month-long celebration, starting from May 25 to June 23. There will be more than 400 family activities and events that will provide opportunities for them to connect and bond as a family.