The Government has emphasized the strengthening of the family institution and has called on the public and private sector to pay greater attention to family development.
The objectives are to encourage the family to participate more in developing the community and society as a whole and to ease social problems.
In order to underline the importance of the family institution, the Government on 13 February 1990 designated April 14 each year Family Day. The observance of Family Day has been part of Songkran, the traditional Thai New Year, since 1991. As the Songkran festival brings family members togehter for reunions, this occasion can promote the bond of family members and provide them with a good opportunity to spend time together and share happiness. So this period is considered most appropriate to celebrate Family Day, with the aim of reviving the family tradition and instilling a true appreciation of the crucial family institution among the people.
Minister of Social Development and Human Security Issara Somchai said that the theme of Family Day 2011, “Family Ties Contribute to Thai Society,” aims to develop the family into a sanctuary of love, warmth, and care in the modern world.
The tide of globalization has brought changes to Thai society. For instance, a typical Thai family has become smaller, unlike in the past when an extended family was the norm. Because of social and economic changes in modern Thai society, young people often find it necessary to live on their own after marriage. To some extent, this has resulted in the traditional extended family system evolving into the nuclear family system found in normal modern societies. The size of the Thai family has shrunk, now comprising parents and not more than two children.
In many rural areas, grandparents and relatives help look after young children whose parents are working in the city. But the lack of love and care from their parents has turned many children to drugs, gambling, and other anti-social activities. Teenage pregnancy and domestic violence have also become social problems.
The family is one of the smallest units in society, but its importance is the highest. It is a powerful force that can create human beings of good quality. It plays a significant role in instilling ethical conduct, social values, lifestyles, and ways of thinking into young people. A strong and warm family can beat back social ills and build up a healthy society.
Thai society is well known for its deeply rooted family values. Because of the shrinking of the Thai family and social and economic changes, family members find it more difficult to look after one another as closely as before. Each seems to have his or her own way of living; family bonds are loosening and social problems can easily arise when a family is weak.
In order to fight social woes more effectively, Thai people have been urged to strengthen family ties. For this reason, the Government stresses the importance of family development, and Thailand is among the first countries in the world to celebrate Family Day.