Living in a joint family for a European

Reply
#1 Jan 2nd, 2014, 18:48
Join Date:
Jan 2014
Location:
France
Posts:
21
  • Bidilune is offline
#1
Hello Everyone!

Ok so here is the situation: I am from France and thanks to my studies, I spent a few months in New Zealand, where i met my actual boyfriend, from Calcutta. I came back to France but plan moving definitly in New Zealand at the end of next year.
The problem is that he is bringing his parents in a few weeks and plan living with them. As a European, I never conceived living with my own parents or my boyfriend's parents and I don't know if i will be able to handle it, even if they seem to be openminded, not that traditional and flexible. I am, myself, quite openminded and family oriented but I also like to "keep my boyfriend for myself" most of the time.

Do you think it's easy for a non-Indian to integrate a Joint-family ? What are the obstacles I can find ? What about the intimacy in a joint family ? How reduced is it ? Is there other stuffs I should know ?

Thanks you in advance!

NB: Sorry if I make gramatical errors, English isn't my first language...
#2 Jan 2nd, 2014, 18:52
Join Date:
Nov 2009
Location:
Dilli
Posts:
1,660
Send a message via Yahoo to theRock Send a message via Skype™ to theRock
  • theRock is offline
#2
You can see a tv series called "Firangi Bahu" for some insights.

Would help you a bit about how to adjust in a Indian family.
#3 Jan 2nd, 2014, 18:55
It's all Greek to me, but Benglish will do
Join Date:
Dec 2005
Location:
over a 'wine-dark sea'
Posts:
15,691
  • theyyamdancer is offline
#3
Hello bidilune and welcome to IndiaMike!

You may like to read similar threads, such as this one, whilst waiting for replies to your query.

Good luck.


P.S. A great blog which treats lots of issues regarding inter-cultural marriage is this one:
http://www.whiteindianhousewife.com

P.P.S. Another favourite blog of mine, which is well worth reading for insights on cross-cultural matters:
http://chanacoffee.blogspot.gr/searc...%20differences
"Only the guy who isn't rowing has time to row the boat."
(Jean-Paul Sartre)
#4 Jan 2nd, 2014, 19:02
Join Date:
Jan 2014
Location:
France
Posts:
21
  • Bidilune is offline
#4
Hello and thank you for your answers !

So the Rock, is it a reality show or a TV serie with actors and stuffs ? Can I find it on Youtube or something ?

And theyyamdancer, I have already read this post but its not the same situation: I want to adapt and live with them, he told me since the beggining this is what he wants and I agreed i won't ask him to change (even if I asked a few times if he really didn't consider compromising a little).
#5 Jan 2nd, 2014, 19:13
Join Date:
Nov 2009
Location:
Dilli
Posts:
1,660
Send a message via Yahoo to theRock Send a message via Skype™ to theRock
  • theRock is offline
#5
Bonjour Bidilune...

The program is new and running and relates to a western girl married in a traditional Indian family.I haven't seen it except the adv but I guess it may help you a bit.I guess the biggest hurdle would be the "Evil" Mother-in-Law. I think it would be available on youtube etc since most of the tv programs are available on youtube these days.


http://www.indiantelevision.com/images23/octrel159.JPG
PS : The Hindi text in above image says "Would Desai family accept Camili?" Mon-Fri, 7:30 PM, Sahara One channel.


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/photo/24863564.cms

Interview : http://idiva.com/news-entertainment/...hu-on-tv/25489
#6 Jan 2nd, 2014, 19:46
Join Date:
Jun 2007
Location:
Mumbai
Posts:
1,593
  • SomPan is offline
#6
Bidilune

I cannot be too much of help in terms of what you should do. But I can certainly say that you should not watch Firangi Bahu as it will give you a completely a wrong sense of what to expect. Indian soap operas are far removed from reality and while the underline theme may be correct some of the situations will be over the top and you would unnecessarily get the wrong image. Mind you I am saying this without wathcing this particular serial - but I am 99.999999% sure of what I am saying.
Just to start with some of the snaps that have been put in this mail - you will hardly find anyone wearing clothes like this on a normal day - most traditional families also these days accept Salwar Kameez and Saris have become a garment for weddings and festivals.
Also the picture looks like is of someone who is from a Gujarati family and from your post looks like you in-laws (would be) are bengalis. Mind you that is a big difference over 2000 kms in distance and may be an equal amount in terms of culture - just to give a small example most Gujarati's (in the serial Desai's) would not touch non-veg and most Bengali's including Brahmins would not eat a meal without non-veg.....
Overall I think despite what ever preparation you do it will be a big chasm for you which can be surpassed if both sides keep and open mind and are accepting. The good thing in your case is that you are going to live overseas so it is really your in-laws who have a stake in making their sons marriage a success and you dont have to deal with the extended family.
all the best
#7 Jan 2nd, 2014, 20:02
Join Date:
Jan 2014
Location:
France
Posts:
21
  • Bidilune is offline
#7
Actually his mom is Gujarat... All of them (including my boyfriend) are vegetarian, non-acohol drinkers, non-smokers etc. I don't smoke but I do drink and eat meat (even if i'm not a meat lover). I wouldn't change on these points, i mean i know I won't eat meat regularly (that's what I did for the past few months and i didn't miss it that much)but for example if we go to a restaurant i will eat meat. But once again they seem open-minded on that point.
Regarding the saris, i know her mom regularly put them (even if she also wear occidental clothes), but this might change since she moves to New Zealand.
#8 Jan 2nd, 2014, 20:22
Join Date:
Nov 2009
Location:
Dilli
Posts:
1,660
Send a message via Yahoo to theRock Send a message via Skype™ to theRock
  • theRock is offline
#8
Bidilune

The sas-bahu operas in India(and elsewhere in world) are indeed bit exaggerated to spice up for high TRP but it would still help a bit.

Since you would not be in India many things would be easier overall.The ones who need to think so much are those who need to settle down in India and that too in a joint family.

The food habits indeed can be a pain point at home but as you said you would not be doing it regularly(in home) so there would not be much trouble I guess.Also I have seen many people turning to veg food since they never even knew which veg food to eat and never developed taste for it.This is because they were raised in a heavily non-veg families.
#9 Jan 2nd, 2014, 20:29
Join Date:
Dec 2007
Location:
London, UK
Posts:
650
  • The_Londoner is offline
#9

Re: Living in a joint family for a European

This is my personal "Man's" point of view. I'm a British man(of Indian origin), who grew up in the UK and am very family oriented. I married a British born woman(again of an Indian origin) couple of decades back. Both of our families have very western liberal views and are open-minded. We decided to live within a family environment with my family once we were married. And my personal view, it does not work. And personally I feel there'll be even more expectation from you from parents from India, no matter how open minded they are. Many things couples take for granted, e.g. simple things like cuddling up on sofa you will think twice about because of respect of parents being there. You will lose so much of your freedom you take for granted no matter how open-minded parents are. There'll always be clash of cultures and it may put pressure on your marriage. My marriage didn't last due to other reasons, and this was two decades back. But my personal view is that couples living with patents does not work in western society.
Idle mind is a Devil's workshop.
Last edited by narendra.d; Jan 2nd, 2014 at 20:59.. Reason: device signature removed
#10 Jan 2nd, 2014, 20:30
Join Date:
Jun 2007
Location:
Mumbai
Posts:
1,593
  • SomPan is offline
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bidilune View Post Actually his mom is Gujarat... All of them (including my boyfriend) are vegetarian, non-acohol drinkers, non-smokers etc. I don't smoke but I do drink and eat meat (even if i'm not a meat lover). I wouldn't change on these points, i mean i know I won't eat meat regularly (that's what I did for the past few months and i didn't miss it that much)but for example if we go to a restaurant i will eat meat. But once again they seem open-minded on that point.
Regarding the saris, i know her mom regularly put them (even if she also wear occidental clothes), but this might change since she moves to New Zealand.
Well well well - in that case I am tempted to change my view on the serial 180 degrees. If they are 2/3 generation Gujaratis in Kolkata chances are they are stuck in atime warp as most Indian soap operas are
#11 Jan 2nd, 2014, 21:08
Join Date:
Jul 2011
Location:
UK
Posts:
2,503
  • Fing Fang is offline
#11
How long are they living with you? Is it a permanent situation? Who will own the house (pay rent or mortgage)? There are lots of this to discuss that will make things easier, so people know where they stand?... who does what chores? What happens if you and your boyfriend decide to have kids?

I personally would be happy for parents in law to stay with me on a short term basis, but no way could I live permanently / long term with my inlaws - and my partner I doubt could live with mine....

No privacy, can't do what you want - when you want, arguments over cooking and chores and bills... etc. If I wan't to stay in pyjamas all day and watch tv I might not be able to cos the dad in law is there... too awkward! I would avoid if you can,
#12 Jan 3rd, 2014, 15:48
Join Date:
Jan 2014
Location:
France
Posts:
21
  • Bidilune is offline
#12
Thank for all your answers!

Ok so firstly regarding the meat thing. As I Said i don't need meat so in a first time I won't eat any meat but I'll slowly introduce it. They are open minded on this topic because his dad is opening a non vegeterian restaurant, I don't think this will ever be a problem.

The Londoner, cuddling on the sofa, hanging in pyjamas, going out without my boyfriend probably won't be a problem. The goal is to create an Indo-European general mind set, since they already are kind of flexible and openminded (for example the man isn't superior to the woman, she can work if she wants to etc.), I am sure they will be allright and accept the differences.

Fing Fang : Yes it is a permanant situation. That's why I insisted to pay 1/4 of the bills (rent, water, electricity), I don't want to owe them anything. And they are OK with that too. For the Chores, we haven't thought about that yet, but we will turn between all four of us, probably when my boyfriend and I cook, they will do the dishes etc. If/when we have kids, I specified I wanted him to eat meat (he will choose later) and both of our parents will equally take care of him (my parents might move in in a few years) so he has both cultures.

My main concern was regarding the privacy. In joint family, are the parents very present in the couple's life ? May I add I love him and Im ready to adapt to this lifestyle to make it work.

Thank you again for your answers!
#13 Jan 3rd, 2014, 16:15
Join Date:
Jan 2014
Location:
Nagpur
Posts:
85
  • EnglishWife is offline
#13
I am english and recently moved to India to be with my husband, and my inlaws!
They are really amazing and I love them so much!!

There are a lot of cultural differences but it is fine.
I am someone who likes their space and spend a lot of time in my bedroom, I think my in-laws think I am ill all the time but I am not.
I guess everyone is different but I am sure it will be fine... plus if it is not fine, it is only for a couple of weeks!

Good luck!!
my blog: http://englishwifeindianlife.com
I hope documenting my journey can provide inspiration and information to those who are also in cross cultural/long distance relationships, anyone considering visiting/living in India and readers who are simply curious to see how a foreign wife adapts to an Indian life.
#14 Jan 3rd, 2014, 16:21
Join Date:
Dec 2007
Location:
London, UK
Posts:
650
  • The_Londoner is offline
#14

Re: Living in a joint family for a European

I think OP has his parents moving in permanently and not for couple of weeks.

Privacy will be a big issue as they'll be in your life more than you think.
#15 Jan 3rd, 2014, 16:43
Join Date:
Nov 2009
Location:
Dilli
Posts:
1,660
Send a message via Yahoo to theRock Send a message via Skype™ to theRock
  • theRock is offline
#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnglishWife View Post I am english and recently moved to India to be with my husband, and my inlaws!
They are really amazing and I love them so much!!


There are a lot of cultural differences but it is fine.
I am someone who likes their space and spend a lot of time in my bedroom, I think my in-laws think I am ill all the time but I am not.
I guess everyone is different but I am sure it will be fine... plus if it is not fine, it is only for a couple of weeks!

Good luck!!
You would be serving as a role model for all those aspirants.
All the best for your future.

PS : Your blog would get a lot of traffic now
Reply

Similar Threads

Title, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views Forum
Monthly cost of living in north Goa with a family 4 Dec 2nd, 2010 00:40 4 3531 Goa
Ahaaaaa.... I hate living in a Joint Family..... Help please Jul 11th, 2009 23:02 93 26601 You Are Not Alone
Living in Chandigarh with family for 6 months? Jun 23rd, 2009 09:45 21 16868 Punjab
Cost of Living for a Family of Six Jun 5th, 2008 12:02 6 3875 Packing Tips for India travel
Joint Family to Nuclear Family to Weekend Family !!! Feb 13th, 2006 16:56 1 3644 Chai and Chat


Posting Rules

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Forum Rules»
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2
© IndiaMike.com 2017
Page Load Success