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Family Customs and Traditions around the World

>> Jun 14, 2016


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Each country has its own set of cultures, values and traditions. There are those who prefer to put their elderly in home care or keep them in the family. In many international schools in Manila with tuition fee, this is included in the school’s official curriculum. Some may find these practices repulsive but it can’t be helped especially since it’s already a part of the culture. To let you know, here are some family customs and traditions around the world:


Most families are nuclear, especially those who live in the urban areas. Slightly extended families, such as an elderly parent living with the couple and their children, are not uncommon. However in general, extended kin groups no longer play a major role in a married couple’s daily lives. Mothers pay a lot of attention on their children, and child rearing is considered a very important responsibility for women in their twenties and thirties. Many women give birth to their first child after a year of marriage and married couples without children are uncommon. Fathers are less involved when raising a child because it involves a high degree of physical and emotional interaction between the mother and the offspring, which makes close psychological ties between mothers and children extremely common.

South Korea

Before a couple enters marriage, family background and educational levels are important considerations especially when matchmaking. However, many urbanites find their spouse at schools or workplaces and have a love marriage although there are others who find their partners through arranged meetings by family, friends or a professional matchmaker. Marriage has been regarded as a union of the man and woman’s families and it is a means to ensure the continuity of the husband’s family line. Divorce is rare in South Korea but there are statistics that said divorce rates tripled from 1980-1994. Traditionally, three-generation stem families from the husband’s side live in the same house. That custom continues but some couples now live with the parents of the wife. Usually, in an extended family, the housekeeping tasks are usually performed by the daughter-in-law unless she works outside the home.  Children receive a great deal of affection, nurturing and indulgence from their parents and they were seldom separated from their mothers, especially when they were still infants.


Today, Spaniards marry for mutual attracting and shun the idea of arranged marriages. Most Spaniards live in nuclear family households consisting of their parents and children. As a Spanish saying goes “casadocassaquiere” which means “a married person wants a house”. Older couples or unmarried adults often live on their own. Infants are treated with affection and reprimanding them is often accompanied by kisses. Adults do not shame children in the public, although there are threats since it is considered as a tool to teach desirable conduct. Men and women alike shower affection on babies although more and more urban middle class fathers treat their growing children more formally than their mothers do.


Russians consider romantic love as the only acceptable motivation for marriage. People frequently meet partners at school, work, and clubs, the latter becoming a popular meeting place recently. Premarital sex is generally accepted and marriages arising from unplanned pregnancies are common. The multigenerational extended family living with the husband’s family characterized peasant life until the turn of the 20th century although household size varies by region. The nuclear family is the most important domestic unit and married couples usually move into another house or apartment, away from their parents. Many couples with children live with a widowed parent of one spouse, often the grandmother, who provides child care and food preparation. Sometimes, a grandparent’s monthly pension may contribute to the family budget.

New Zealand

Marriages are entered into by mutual choice, unless the person belongs to a Muslim, Hindu and a few Chinese groups. Parental consent is required if one of the partners or both are under 20 years of age. The only ground for divorce is irreconcilable breakdown. Traditional weddings are still evident but there are more people who plan their own. The nuclear family still predominates although there is an increase in the number of single-parent homes. Children, even infants, may spend a lot of time in the house of an “aunt”, a close female relative or friend who can provide full or part-time infant and child care.


Marriage is both a civil and religious ceremony. It is similar to those in the United States with the addition of sponsors. Principal sponsors are friends and relatives and the bigger the number of principal sponsors, the more popular a couple is. Arranged marriages have not been a part of the Filipino life however, men are expected to marry. If they have not married during their late twenties, female relatives will then introduce him to potential brides. Young professionals often wait until their late twenties to marry and long engagements are common. During this period, the couple become established in jobs, can pay for the education of younger siblings and acquire household items.

The most important societal unit is the extended family, especially for the women. Mothers and daughters make the decisions concerning the home without conferring with the males in the family. One child typically remains in the family home to care for the parents and grandparents. This child, usually a daughter, may or may not be married. The home may include an assortment of children from the extended family and single aunts and uncles. Most of the time, several houses may be established in the same lot to keep the family together.

About the Blogger
Sue Reyes is a former writer for CNN Philippines and Aspiring Fashion Blogger

Follow her on twitter: @suereyesfashion

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Welcome to my blog. I'm a home maker, a stay at home wife. I'm just an ordinary woman who has interest in reading, working at home and learning to write. We live in Bogor, Indonesia.
This blog contains articles in family topic.
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