For many of us, family occasions are rarely a cause for celebration. All of us have that weird uncle (I have two) and an aunt or two who are just a little too loud with their dated prejudices or what they think of the weight you gained over the summer. Then you have your great collection of cousins. Those your age that have drifted far away from their younger versions – once your first set of friends. You have that gangster cousin (or so he’d like to believe) and the cousin who asks you why the hell you aren’t dating anyone yet, trying to analyse your flaws and fix your hair. Of course, the older cousin is just waiting to launch into a controversial political debate with his politically incorrect views.

The kids at family occasions

Nephews and nieces are always a sight to behold (from a distance). But get them closer and pack them into a room and it gets loud. No amount of PlayStation will settle them. That’s because they already have the newest Xbox at home and yours is considered an antique. So they tug and pull at you to chase them or else request you to find ways to entertain them. Sadly, some paper and colouring pencils no longer do the trick like back in the days. Or are you familiar with the Goosebumps you get when your nephew spots you with your mobile phone and asks to play with it?

Crazy uncles

So you have a choice between crazy uncles, debating politics with an arrogant moron, the cousin who won’t stop messing with your hair and judging the bling you are wearing, aunties that are just waiting to chip away at your self-esteem, listening to your wanna-be bad boy cousin judging you for not being more hood or settle for entertaining those little terrors running around.

Why?

So why do we do it? Why do we attend family occasions? What is this thing called family that we are so dutifully bound to? In a sentence, a family consists of people who are there for you always. Whether you want them to or not.

Often times it will seem like they are from a different planet altogether. Your cousins have grown to become nay-strangers with their thoughts and ambitions but for some reason, we stay connected. Even if that connection is only realised during family occasions. In the strangest way, family can be a group of people who you don’t get on with but who you love. Not because you have to, even if it is next to impossible to have open conversations, there is always a sense of familiarity and history. Ultimately though, you’ll have to see these folks a lot more once you graduate. Stay in school.