In Association with

The dictionary meaning of a Joint Family is, ‘A Joint Family or an extended family is a large undivided family where more than one generation live together in a common house.’

In a Joint Family, all children get equal share of love, care, guidance & education. One is never alone in the house even if your parents are out on some social commitments as one or the other member is always there for you.

In a Joint Family we find in-house friends in the form of our siblings & cousins, celebrate all the festivals together, learn to share our toys & other things, eat all kinds of food specially vegetables & dals. Here we learn the sportsman spirit; when your sibling or cousin does any cheating while playing, you learn to laugh it off, let go. And this quality helps us later in our lives in our own business or job-the quality of ‘let go’. How to tackle this type of situation, to let go, respect for others, flexibility in our thoughts & talks are learnt during our growing years only when we are in Joint Family.

Joint Family teaches us to stay United with diversity all around. It is like a training center before you put your foot out in this Big Wide World.

Here talks start with “We” or “Our” instead of “I” or “My”. It’s like winning after losing everything you have & equally sharing whatever you have won.

The biggest advantage of a Joint Family system is your sorrow, your problems, difficulties are shared by others & they stand with you shoulder to shoulder. Young boys are trained by elders for the business while girls are trained in how to run your house efficiently after getting married. Even if any girl or lady is running her own business or working with any outside company, she would not worry about her children at home while she is away at work. They are well looked after by their grandparents or other elders.

I consider myself one of the lucky ones to be born in a Joint Family. We were almost 40+ people living under one roof where not only my grandparents, parents or siblings were there but my grandfather’s two brothers & their families & his one widowed Sister with her children were staying together. I was raised like a Princess in that house; spoilt & pampered by all elders but at the same time under strict supervision, guidance & moral values. And witnessing all these, I dreamt of a Joint Family after my marriage.

Luckily enough, I got married in a Joint Family living with my in-laws, my husband’s brothers & their families. It was a dream come true. At my parent’s house I was a Princess, here I made my way into their hearts & was treated like a Queen. It’s an advantage to be the youngest in the family. My mother-in-law trained me to be a perfect wife, perfect daughter-in-law, to run the home efficiently, how to raise children with love & care, taught all the cooking that I didn’t know, the customs & rituals of the family & at the same time pampering & spoiling her daughter-in-law.

Though Joint Family system is known to be the best so far, due to small homes, constraint of living space or due to children getting jobs or doing business out of town, one finds a lot of Nuclear Families these days. Still due to advance technology if we connect ourselves with other family members through whatsapp or Skype or FaceTime frequently, the spirit of togetherness will always remain.

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Harsha Mehta