Noting that national holidays are ceremonies and symbols in which the culture of a society is rebuilt, Psychiatrist Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan noted that the holidays, which are the values that hold the society together, create areas where the society feels safe. Emphasizing that national holidays keep the social memory fresh, Tarhan said that it is also important to raise children who adopt national values. Underlining that the family should be strengthened for the child's psychological well-being, Tarhan added that the weakening of the family is the greatest harm to the mental health of the child.
Üsküdar University Founding Rector, Psychiatrist Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan evaluated the April 23 National Sovereignty and Children's Day and the 23 April World Infant, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Day, which was announced by international non-governmental organizations, composed of scientists working in the field of child mental health around the world.
Noting that the 23rd of April National Sovereignty and Children's Day was accepted as the National Sovereignty Day, as the institutionalization of the joy of welcoming the opening of the Turkish Grand National Assembly on April 23, 1920, with cheers and applause, Tarhan said that in 1981 the name of the holiday was called National Sovereignty and Children's Day. He said it was changed to Christmas.
Noting that a good development took place on April 23 this year, Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan said, “April 23 was declared as the World Infant, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Day globally, with the advice of important associations working on child mental health all over the world. It is important to celebrate this special day.” said. prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan underlined that he carries out important studies on maternal and infant mental health at Üsküdar University Maternal and Infant Mental Health Application and Research Center.
It is important to keep the social memory fresh.
Emphasizing that national holidays are important in terms of keeping the social memory fresh, Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan said, “Religious holidays are as important as national holidays. These are the values that hold societies together. These are ceremonies and symbols. They are the most important elements of social memory. Just as individual memory is very important, collective memory is also very important. In individual memory, there is a person's memory. We take the person's CV when hiring and examine it. We're looking at his resume, that is, his story. We'll see what they do after that. We also look at the future projection, evaluate and decide: 'This person is suitable for this job or not' we say. said.
Stating that the same is true in social memory as in individual memory, Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan, “What is a society's past, its background? For example, the founding date of our Land Forces goes back 2500 years. The founding date of the Police Service goes back to 1700. We have a very deep-rooted history. In fact, its institutions have existed since long ago. It's maturing. You have to think this way.”
Values that hold society together create a zone of trust
Noting that national holidays are ceremonies and symbols in which a society's cultures are rebuilt, Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan said, “If the national holidays are in a way that embraces the whole society, it will serve its purpose. There are values that hold society together. This is called the trust zone. It creates a space where society feels safe. It's a situation where we have common symbols, ceremonies, and shared tastes together." said.
Cultural memory connects with our past
Noting that there is a cultural memory like individual memory and social memory, Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan said, “Social memory is the working memory that we all live in in our daily life, but cultural memory is the memory that connects with our past. We take scenarios from our past. We also take the social memories experienced today and develop our own culture. For him, memory is an organic whole. As with the individual, social memory is also organic. Cultural memory is also a part of that organic unity. For him, cultural memory does not suddenly improve from top to bottom with such a revolution. It changes with evolution. Trying to change the culture of the society with the revolution causes polarization in the society. It causes lifestyle differences. And those who are close to the power that imposes it and support it. Distant ones develop reverse identity. For example, imagine in a family, if the parents impose a new thing on the children, if they accept two children and the others do not, there will be no peace in the house. That's why it is important to have a day that will embrace everyone here, and it is necessary to aim for it. There will be a common ritual for this as well. There will be joint ceremonies. There will be shared lives.” said.
Noting that one of the festivals that form our cultural memory, which has become a tradition from common sharing in this way, is Nowruz Festival. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan said, “We all know from childhood on March 21. A fire would be lit and jumped over. For example, onions and eggs were cooked. These are traditions from Central Asia. Holidays are one of these ceremonies. Kaşgarlı Mahmud gives information about what the word Bayram means among the Turks. He uses the word "Bedhrem" for the word feast. It means happy day. In other words, a national holiday is not about concrete space and time. It is also about an abstract concept.” said.
We must adapt the life scenarios from the past to the present.
Noting that the holidays are also about identity building, Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan said, “Two people are getting married. Both have life scenarios regarding the family environment in which they live. He has both related to his mom and dad and siblings. When the two get together, they become a new family. A safe area is formed. A new abstract identity is formed. If we don't take our life scenarios from the past and bring them to the present and adapt them, 'It will be the same. My father was such a person, you should act like that too. If we insist that my mother is such a person, act like that, then that marriage will not work. So what will happen? As in our individual memory, we need to take our past scenarios and change them as we live them in today's life, because the actors have changed. Instead of the mother, a mother-in-law came. Father-in-law has arrived. Brother and sister have changed. In fact, if you see it as enrichment, you can create a common identity.” said.
Noting that if a person has mental flexibility, he can bring the cultural accumulations of the past and write a life scenario again according to the current situation. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan said, “This situation is also related to the level of development and maturity level of the person. Even so, they actually create a common security area, a common identity. When we ignore our past, we feel the need to search for the past. If you take a person to a deserted island and say, 'We are erasing your entire past,' the person has to make up a past for himself. Makes up legends, makes up stories, etc. It builds a past for itself. If it does not build the past, it cannot create the present.” said.
Cultural memory is alive and dynamic
Expressing that cultural memory is alive and dynamic, Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan said, “It is necessary to leave it to sociological phases and leave it to sociological phases. Sociological phases are also in phases such as 30, 60, 90 years. Trying to change the culture of that society by removing the language of the society, destroying and demolishing the tombstones has never been successful in history. It's happened to us right now. It caused disruption in society. For this reason, we need to find the formula to build these holidays on unifying and embracing common cultural values for the rebuilding of society. As a society and as a determinant of these social policies, it should not be tied only to the concrete space and time relation. This should be seen as important in the construction of abstract identity. For example, the Japanese describe Hiroshima to younger generations. They take primary school kids there. 'Our ancestors endured sacrifices for us.' they say. They use it to build identity for young people to work harder and take more responsibility.”
The importance of history and past consciousness is understood
Noting that even the name Çanakkale was not mentioned properly during my student years, Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan said, “I know as a military physician in the 70s. It was only in military schools. At that time in Kuleli Military High School, there was a famous singer who sang the National Anthem in Çanakkale. The school commander had brought him. Because they were soldiers, they noticed that spirit more. Soldiers better know and understand how important it is to keep the spirit of Çanakkale alive. Thankfully, that consciousness has now emerged. That spirit is animated and explained. The culture building of our children is much, much more important. The most important passage of the War of Independence is the 18 March Çanakkale Victory. Without the Çanakkale Victory, the society could not have fought the War of Independence. There was a kind of revival with the motivation he gave. Çanakkale Victory is a serious breaking point and it is very important to keep it alive.” he said.
Children and adolescents were most affected by the pandemic process.
Pointing out the importance of 23 April World Baby, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Day announced this year, Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan said, “We owe this important day a little bit to the Covid pandemic. When the Covid pandemic just started, we expected that people over the age of 65 would be more affected, according to the results of our tests and research. But it didn't. Interestingly, children and adolescents were more affected. Of course, it also affected people over the age of 65. Alzheimer's increased, but somehow they survived with their own cultural background. However, the social isolation of children and adolescents, the lack of social contact, their intense contact on the Internet, and their intense virtual reality made them vulnerable to trauma. Made it fragile. Therefore, it was necessary to give priority to the post-pandemic maturation and post-pandemic growth process in them. That's why organizations working in the field of child mental health around the world felt such a need and chose this day. The fact that April 23 was chosen for this special day is of course worthy of praise for Turkey. It is something to be happy about.” said.
In the first years of childhood, the interaction of the child with the mother is very important.
Emphasizing that the 0-3 age or 0-6 age period is very important in infant and child mental health, Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan said, “In this period, the interaction of the child with the mother, father or the person who replaces the mother is very important. While trying to learn about life, the child looks at the mother and father with his side eye while making decisions, dreaming or doing something. After that, the child starts investing in life, takes steps and tries to learn something.”
It is necessary to teach how to be a world citizen by preserving his national identity.
Noting that it is also important that April 23 World Baby, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Day coincides with such an important national day, Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan said, “It is also important for the child to learn social and cultural values during the growth process. It is very important that we raise children in accordance with our own cultural values. We need to teach our child to be us by being me, that is, to be a citizen of the world by preserving his own national identity. If you try to be a world citizen without protecting your national identity, we are raising you, it goes to Germany or America. It serves the economy there. We are causing a brain drain. In order not to cause a brain drain, we need to raise national children. We need to raise children who adopt national values. We reflect our own cultural values to the developing and working memory of the child, that the republic has added to us and kazanIt is necessary to place the values and vision of the future. Our children should have national values in one hand and computers and technology in the other.” said.
Family should be strengthened for the psychological strength of children
Making recommendations to strengthen psychological resilience in children, Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan said, “Child mental health has become the most important and priority issue of the whole world. Because violence among children has increased. Violence in schools has increased. Many school refusal cases have increased. In the fight against all these, the strengthening of the family, which is the first teacher of children and the home where those children are raised, comes to the fore. The weakening of the family is the greatest harm to the mental health of the child.” said.
An atmosphere that will raise happy children should be created in the family.
Noting that on this important day, it is important to discuss the concept of family and make suggestions to strengthen the family, Prof. Dr. Nevzat Tarhan said, “A child cannot be happy in an environment where the family is not a safe space. What happens to the child in a world where the child is not happy and at peace? The child seeks happiness and peace in the internet world, seeks it in false friendship relations, and seeks it in matter. Therefore, it is necessary to be able to do whatever it takes to provide the child with a peaceful and happy environment at home. Just as we want beautiful flowers to grow in our garden, we need to create a good infrastructure. We need to pay attention to the sun and water. So we have to create the climate. It is necessary to create an atmosphere that will raise happy children in a family. The mother may be a good business woman or the father may be a good business man, but raising a good child is no less important. All parents should care that raising a good child is the greatest investment.” he said.