India > Culture > Family System

Indian Family System

Indian family is considered strong, stable, flexible and enduring. Historically, the traditional, perfect and beloved family in India is the joint family. Joint families consist of three to four living generations, including uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, and grandparents living together in the same home.

The head of the family is generally the senior male family member and is respected for his seniority, experience, and good judgment. The head of the family set up rules for his family. He controls the family's finances and serves as the judge in case of family disputes.

Joint Family System of India

There have some tradition of Indian joint family system and every member have to follow this. A young person should always touch the feet of his elders; he should never speak in a high or rude tone to those who are older to him; he should always give respect to elders and he should not drink alcohol and tobacco or smoke cigarettes to them; he should respect women. Girls are not allowed top wear skirts after they reach certain age, while in others, they can wear Shari or Shalour Camize, as long as it is decent and not body-revealing.

Complete joint families always lived together and they eat the food cooked at one fireplace and are linked to one another through relationship binds. All members shared a common source of income by the earnable member. An Unemployment member of the family is helped by their parents or other earning members. Guardian of a family supports other members when raising their children. Children grow up in close contact with their aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins.

One of the important characters of the joint family is its shared nature. Family tasks like cooking, cleaning, caring for the children, and performing home maintenance are structured in a shared manner. The family members complete the tasks on a rotating basis, or else individual family members become responsible for specific tasks. Every family member involves and participates in life-cycle events or celebration such as births, marriages, deaths, and any type of regional festival celebrations.

Position of a male and a female in society

Male person are preferred more than female; they are given more values than woman in his family or the society. Males are independent, self-reliant, demanding, and domineering. Other hand, females are quiet, helpful, selfless, conservative and dependent.

Naturally a Indian woman always have to depend on somebody throughout her life; in case of childhood she depend on her father, in case of marriage-life she depend on her husband and last age depend on her son.

In a traditional Indian family, the wife is typically dependent, submissive, obedient, modest, nonassertive, and goes out of her way to please her husband. Women are entrusted with the responsibility of looking after the home and caring for the children and the elderly parents and relatives.

Nuclear family system

Today we have a generation of people who after having lived in a joint family system have taken the plan to break out and start a nuclear family. The generation that broke out of the old joint family system did so when personal thinking began to gain predominance in the society.

The other factor that creates nuclear families is profession. This forced men and women to move out of their family for better job opportunities to the major commercial cities and towns. In this case, often the parents who remained emotionally attached to the place where they spent most of their life preferred to continue staying in their family home and accepted with some sadness their children starting out new life away from them.

The nuclear family gave immense freedom from the traditions and ways of life that the old system was ridden with. The one and only major gain that we see from the 'nuclear family' system is the opportunity it provides us to create an identity of our own.