Family, what is it? The Thesaurus dictionary defines family as “a primary social group consisting of parents and their offspring. ” Dcitionary. com defines family as “any group of persons closely related by blood, as parents, children, uncles, aunts, and cousins. ” Do you agree with it? What is your concept of family? For me, family has more to do with the emotional side because someone might have been adopted, might be an exchange student but still is part of the family. Two years ago, I was an exchange student. I lived in Snellville, Georgia with the Head family.
I wasn’t related to them by blood, I was not even adopted (meaning that I didn’t have their middle nor last name) but that didn’t stop me from feeling like I was a part of the family. There I learned a new concept of what family is and what the functions of the family are. The functions of the family are giving material and emotional security to the ones you love, social placement, and socialization besides regulation of sexual activity through the incest taboo (meaning that there shouldn’t have sexual relationship or marriage between certain kin).
Between all the things I learned that were functions of the family, one seems to me the most important, emotional and material security because those are the base of a good and happy family, once the others can change. Due to career changes, a lot of families now-a-days move quite often, thus every time you move you have to once again adapt yourself to the new habits of the place you are and start to socialize, going through the whole social path again (meeting the people, getting to know there culture, showing them your culture and adapting yourself to the new).
I admit that this path it is not easy but if you have material and emotional security you’ll go through it easier. For me it was a bit different because I didn’t have my “blood family” with me but they were supporting me every way they could. Even without them, it wasn’t hard to adapt myself to the American culture because I also had my American family with me.
Whenever I had difficulty with something in the American culture I had my American family to help me to understand the new concepts and also to show me some other new things; and whenever I need help in accepting the new cultural values, my Brazilian family (even far from me) were supporting me and showing me that all the values they taught me when I was younger were now going to be used because, sometimes you don’t need to like the new but you always have to
respect it. My family taught me that the love, affection and companionship family members have for each other are bigger than any other feelings someone can have and that is what makes a family, that’s what makes family such an important concept in everyone lives.