The Words of the Samochin Family
The meeting was opened by Mr. Petr Samochin, who said that May 15 was proclaimed by UN as the International Day of Families. He stressed that the way to revitalize society is through sound families.
Then Dr. Jirina Prekopová gave a presentation entitled "Let Love Flow in the Family." Mrs. Prekopová is a renowned psychologist and therapist; she has created a new therapy – a school of love. It emphasizes eye contact and empathy, i.e., we should put ourselves in the other person's shoes and allow everybody an opportunity to express what he or she feels; if a confrontation emerges, people should not run away from it but instead deal with it. She is well known for her strong hug therapy, which is a way of expressing love to a child even when he or she is bothering us. In a short, theatrical episode she illustrated how to solve such a conflict in a proper way.
Mr. Petr Samochin introduced the Universal Peace Federation and briefly explained its principles. The foundation of a stable and prosperous society is a healthy family. In the family we can develop our emotional heart, which is the basis for other attainments. He explained some research about family relationships which was done in the USA.
Afterwards, Mr. Alrawi Muneed Hassan, chairman of the Muslim Community Center in Brno, gave a speech. His contribution covered the family traditions in the Middle East. Mr. Alrawi has studied in the Czech Republic, where he been living for the past 26 years. Thus, he is very able to compare different aspects of Eastern and Western cultures. Unlike the families in the West, which have become increasingly individualized, families in the East are highly branched and include extended relatives, cousins, aunts and uncles, etc. They also encompass at least three generations and often even five generations. People visit one another frequently and meet to share both good and bad times. Children respect their parents, holding them in esteem and are proud when the grandparents live right in their home. Similarly to the changing traditions in the West, the Eastern traditions are also mutating, and the status of the women is on the rise. During the discussion period, some questions were raised regarding the traditional female clothing such as the burqa as well relationships between men and women. Mr. Alrawi explained that the traditional women's clothing demonstrates the women's respect for their men and pointed out that men pay attention to their wives.
Th.Dr. Jan Hradil, a bishop of Czechoslovak Hussite Church who had been scheduled to give a lecture on "The Family in the Old and New Testaments," was unable to attend because of sudden, urgent duties.
During the discussion, Mrs. Lenka Hermanová from the Yoga in Daily Life Society talked about how women raise their children in India. She considers one of the most interesting aspects of Indian culture the women's silent reverence for their husband.
At the end of the meeting Mr. Petr Samochin spoke about Korean family traditions. He concluded that these are similar to those in the Middle East.
The participants reported that they found the conference helpful.