Indians and Irony.
30-year-old Indian man Varun watches The Big Bang Theory on his laptop and laughs whenever someone cracks a joke about Howard living with his mother.
The irony is that Varun lives with their own parents too. None of his friends laugh at him for this. Most of them live with both their parents too.
This is how Indians and Indian families work. No, it is not weird. It is extremely normal in Indian culture. Someone who abandons his parents is looked down upon!
Why Do Indians Live with Parents?
There is no doubt that Indians have strong family bonds and people prefer independent living only after their marriage. It’s not as if they rely on their parents for financial problems.
They may or may not have a stable job. That does not determine if they will live with their mom and dad or not. It’s just what they have seen people around them do.
If one does not have to go to another city for work or higher education, they are expected to stay at home.
Indian parents take care of their children in every way till they can support themselves. When they can finally support themselves, they are supposed to take care of their parents.
The relationship between the Indian youth and their parents is based on respect in a joint family. They are expected to listen to their parents regardless of how old they are. It’s not like they do not have the option to move out. They choose not to.
Importantly, young adults who work for the family business are less likely to start their own families. Young couples in India, nuclear families with fewer children are based on husband’s employment and education.
The daughter has to leave her parents to stay with her husband and his family members. Daughter-in-law is expected to take care of their in-laws like their parents.
While most Indian men are fine with this, it’s hard for the daughter-in-law to adjust to the new environment. But then, this settlement has its benefits too.
The wife is expected to take care of the household chores. Now that both the husband and the wife have jobs outside, they can let the parents handle everything else.
They do not even have to leave their kid with babysitters as the grandparents take upon themselves the task of taking care of the baby and never let them feel lonely.
Living with the parents has its benefits- one gets to eat good food, responsibilities are less, and parents are taken care of. But then, there’s less privacy.
There are more restrictions. For parents, their child is never old enough; Westerners may even perceive them to be adult children. They cannot help but try to keep their children out of trouble. This results in conflicts.
1. Why Are Indian Families Opting for Nuclear Families?
Both have advantages and disadvantages. Staying in nuclear households make you independent; however, in a joint family, you have each other’s support if everyone is supportive; otherwise, disagreements are more possible, especially after the marriage of two brothers.
In modern times, a golden middle ground lifestyle is preferable, in which family members easily move to each other’s dwellings and reside together on a regular basis despite the fact that they may have to live apart due to work advancement and decent income.
Every member provides all necessary financial, emotional, and social assistance anytime it is required, such as in an emergency, child rearing, celebration, infirm/sick members, premature death, elderly elders, and so on.
There is a significant need for the financial and emotional safety net provided by the joint family structure, which was fully achievable when people were involved in farming or large family businesses and could live in the same area. As a result, taking the middle road is the best option!
Nuclear families with individualism generate more money than a joint family, and a nation with a nuclear family structure has a significantly larger economic and consumptive yield than one without it. Take the West as well as its family structure as an example.
2. What’s Better? Living in A Joint or A Nuclear Family?
Joint families have a profoundly rooted patriarchal, sexist, and casteist power structure.
The eldest male family member or other male members have sole decision-making authority. Females are subordinate to the males’ demands and strictures which is one of the reasons for low female employment.
They produce unreasonable conservatism, which is automatically inherited by newer generations in the name of “tradition.” There is little room for autonomous, unrestrained thought.
As a result, youngsters become victims of irrational lines of thought that really are incompatible with 21st-century goals and societal norms.
A joint family offer an environment suitable for the seamless indoctrination of children and adolescents into orthodoxy or conservatism.
Joint family survival is dependent on the consolidation & unification of all personal income. Marriage within the caste/family is required in caste-based Indian society to prevent property from being divided.
The only method to avoid such property partition is to control and limit the love life of the unmarried members. To maintain the survival of the heinous institution of caste, joint families must protect and perpetuate it.
Furthermore, combined families boost reproduction due to child-rearing’s shared costs and responsibilities.
Because of the existing support structure, child-rearing is no more an expensive or time-consuming endeavor; thus, it contributes to overpopulation.
Nuclear families, on the other hand, are more independent and liberal. Single women and married women are typically financially independent, and the rigors of casteist, patriarchal customs have been toned down to a large extent.
The illogical influence of yesteryear is not heavily imposed on children. And, as others have said, there is more privacy, autonomy, and freedom.
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-Edited by Steffy|22/7/22