Jan 15, 2009

I Love Joint Family Do You ?

Hello I thought I would share with my readers about joint family culture in India. Even though joint families have decreased in numbers and nuclear families have increased I got the opportunity and pleasure to be in a joint family as soon as I got married. When I got married I was too young and my husband's family was settled in Noida a place near New Delhi. I belong to the southern most part of India from a small town called Nagercoil. My husband's family also belong to the same place but got settled in Delhi as my Father in law was in the air force. My husband was brought up and studied in almost all parts of Northern India as my father in law was in the air force and gets transferred from one place to another.

So after my marriage we stayed with my in laws . Including me there were 5 of us in the family. Myself, my husband, bro in law, my mom and dad in law. There are many advantages of being in a joint family. The first thing is I dint know hindi. Our mother tongue is tamil. I Guess all know that in India people of different states speak different languages. So staying in the joint family not knowing Hindi was not at all a problem and after 2-3 months I became a pro in speaking Hindi. Even though friends laugh at me the way I pronounce some of the words lolz :)) The second thing is am a pro not in cooking only eating:) I don't even know to make a coffee really ashamed of myself now when I think of that. My mom in law is a very very kind woman and she never forced me to cook in the kitchen. But I slowly learnt cooking from her and I must mention here my mom in law is a great cook and she is a pro in cooking both north and south Indian food. Every year my mom in law goes to her sister's place for vacation for a month and at that time I used to take over all the responsibility of the house and that is how I learnt to manage house hold responsibilities. My father in law wakes up around 5.30am in the morning and he needs coffee as soon as he gets up. So I used to wake up around 5.00am and make coffee , then prepare breakfast and lunch and my husband and father in law after having break fast goes off to the office and come back for lunch. My bro in law and me are of almost the same age so we used to have nice chats and sometimes he makes tea, bread toast for him and also for me.

After 2 years of my marriage my son was born and that was the time I knew and got the most of the benefit of staying in a joint family. My mom in law, bro in law and father in law took turns to look after my son. I did not feel tired for a single second being a mother as my family was with me to support. Mothers know how hard is to look after and bringing up kids all alone. But I never felt that and my son grew in the joint family pampered by grand parents and also getting nice shouts from us parents. Now as a teenager he is a very affectionate and well behaved and most importantly a very kind hearted kid with good morals.

I personally believe most of these qualities came to him because we stayed as a joint family for a long time. Unlike some of the teenage kids he is very close to me and share everything with me that happened in the school and before having his lunch after coming from school he never misses to ask me to have lunch with him. Iam very sure that my son would never choose the wrong way in life and would be a responsible citizen. I strongly believe that staying in a joint family will definitely have a good impact on future generation although there are pros and cons. After all every thing in life has its own pros and cons and staying in a joint family has lot of pros compared to cons.

To end with we are not in a joint family now as my in laws got settled in their home town and sadly my father in law who was a great support to our family passed away 2 years back suddenly of a massive attack leaving us alone. But I still have lot of sweet memories with me of staying in a joint family which I miss so much. Please let me know your views about joint family in the form of comments I love to hear your opinions.


  1. Joint family 1 word u r never alone. u always hav a shoulder to cry when u need, always a helping hand when u need, always a companion to chat on ny issue, n a very good understanding partner to give u opinion for ur decision and a whole bunch of people to take care of each n everyone in and around the family. If i hav to write all abt the joint family then it wont be enough to write all abt them.
    Good that u hav so lovely joint family.


  2. Hi Venki,
    Thanx for the kind words yea we lived in a joint family but not now. That was a wonderful time and I still have the memories fresh in my heart. My father in law was a wonderful person and he always treated me like a daughter and we all miss him a lot. My son is the only grand child for them and my son misses him more than any one else.

  3. Hi Sudha,

    I very much enjoyed reading this post. I like the term "joint family" rather than "extended family" which has quite a negative connotation. I think the "joint family" best exemplifies the Asian culture of close-knit families.

    Your honesty about not knowing how to cook at first is admirable, but learning that —and Hindi, among other things— is even more laudable. I'm tempted to compare your experience to an on-the-job training (or internship) except that it's really not a job, and you do labor of love but also get love in return. Perhaps the best thing about it is the love and positive values your child gets from his grandparents. Of course, the joy your sons brings to them is also priceless.

    I can't help but think you and your in-laws are very fortunate to have each other.

    Thanks for sharing your very positive experience. I look forward to reading more.

    Singapore Fountain Pen

  4. Hi Singapore Fountain Pen, thank you for dropping by and taking time to read the post. I really appreciate and value your views on joint family. Friends like you inspire me to write such posts. With comments like yours, do be sure to expect more memorable moments of my life.

  5. yea,that's the power and advantage of a joint family.But,sadly nowadays,there are hardly any join families,due to working in industrial cities...children of nowadays will surely miss the happiness that the last generation children had with their grandparents,and the healthy village atmosphere.

  6. Oh this was a great post,because I really don´t know about the "joint family",but it sounds wonderful,how many peoples living and alone and feel same! Thanks for sharing !
    Have a great week!

  7. @karthik, yes what you said was very true and the tolerance level of this generation has pathetically gone down and that is one more reason for the decrease in the joint family system in India.
    @cuteboo, thank you so much for dropping in and for taking time to read the post. I really appreciate it and have a wonderful week cheers:)

  8. Hi Sudha, I love family gatherings. I thought I commented on this one. It's just wonderful to have a family who will look after the kids. You are fortunate to have them, such a beautiful family.

  9. Hi Aisha, yes what you said is very true but unfortunately the joint family culture is vanishing slowly. I feel very sad about that.

  10. carmen23.1.09

    Coming from a very close family myself, where we do everything together even though we don't live in the same house, makes me appreciate "joint family" like you experienced.We live in the same town only a couple of minutes walk from each other and my sisters, their families and mine including my mum are always at each others homes.This helped even our kids to grow up looking after each other and sharing stuff together. God bless you and your family my friend, not many people are as fortunate as us, either because of the distances where they live or maybe problems.

  11. Thank you dear Carmen for those lovely words :) My son is very attached to the family and he is also very kind, affectionate towards others which I dont see in many of the kids of his age and I strongly believe that these qualities came to him cause he grew in a joint family.

  12. Joint family can be fun if everyone is being loving and tolerant of each other. We can benefit from each generation learning together and creating a safe close knit connection. I write about connection in the African American family. It is the most important relationship we will ever have.

  13. That is so true AAfamilyconnection...tolerance is very important in a joint family which sadly has become less now a days. Another issue is egoism because of which lot of people miss the benefits of joint family. I will not say that we lived without any misunderstandings and arguements in the joint family.. yes there were times of misunderstandings and lot of other issues but now I can think only about the benefits and love I enjoyed staying in a joint family.