Friday, May 14, 2021 | Shawwal 1, 1442 H
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When we eat together!


In today’s fast-paced world, do we know what it was between us and our ancestors and grandmothers who milled flour to bake bread? It is the tradition of family members sitting down for a meal in one place that gave everyone a sense of togetherness, belonging to a family. After all, those who eat like us are related to us, they are as we are... isn’t it?

And lunch is ready! It is the traditional yell that our mothers or grandmothers used to call to their children, playing in the yard of the house, and to attract the attention of husband busy watching the news on television, for instance... (Lunch is ready we are about to eat, so stop what you are doing!)

Are not these calls, which represent the most important moment of the day, an affirmation of family life, the role of the mother’s care and the presence of the father! You can imagine with me here that table or a sitting, a place of memory where we are aware of whom we are and with whom we are. Around the table or dinning sitting, all the preceding meals come together for every special meal at weekends or occasions with an endless series of memories and gatherings. Perhaps that sitting for all of us is the place where the family gathers, but it may be a symbol of solidarity or in fact for some, a background for family disputes and childhood tragedies, the sadness of a non-detailed apology, or perhaps a time of happiness and constant laughter.

Certainly, the phrase (lunch is ready) refers to a state of mind determined by the terrain of the schedule, meeting and place. However, People sitting across from each other inevitably passing dishes or pans, or those sitting around the table almost have to look each other’s eyes and talk. So those hearts continue to turn around each other and memories are built here and I might say that traditions are made here, indeed it is the secret of the place and the strength of the family. As they say: a family that eats together stays together!

Here, imagine with me that we do not eat as soon as we get food at that table, to suffocate hunger; We generally wait even though we’re fewer in number than we’re used to, So that everyone has food on their plate. And we don’t consider the meal finished until everyone has eaten enough. Sadly, nowadays most of us do not live this experience of meeting on a daily basis and are not aware of its importance to his children, his family and the extent of its negative impact not only on adults but also on the new generation.

In fact, we notice during the past years how the dining table or dinning sitting has disappeared in some families and unfortunately it became clear that some families did not commit to reviving those family habits and family gatherings on the dining table, although in a way it appears to me as the centre of family life, which regretfully has become less and less. We eat while working on the personal computer, standing in the kitchen, or quickly on the sofa in front of the TV or in the car, while the sons are in another place. Thus, everyone slowly lives alone and may get used to being for himself or herself, resulting in the disappearance of the intimacy between the family members with time.

At the end, although the duration of the same family sitting together around the dining table does not exceed on average 20 minutes, these quick family meetings have huge positive effects on children’s health. It will not be possible to talk with family members about events that happened to them during the day if television, for example is grabbing their attention. Without a doubt, the dining sitting or table is an opportunity to solve a number of problems and correct many concepts, especially for your children. It’s also a chance for children to gain a little bit of experience from their parents... and even listen to them and seeing the eyes of the grandparents and their grandchildren smiling!

Dr Yousuf Ali al Mulla, MD, Ministry of Health, is a medical innovator and educator. For any queries regarding the content of the column he can be contacted at:


Dr Yousuf Ali al Mulla

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