Parents vs In-laws

Today a French girl who has Indian roots asked me:
“Why do Indian couples have so much distinction between the girl’s and the guy’s parents?”

I tried to bullshit my way through by giving her the historical reasons about this tradition etc. but she persisted and asked me:
“It is the responsibility of the sons to ensure that their parents are well taken care of, even if it means that he moves in with them. However if the girl and her husband show the same concern for her parents then the society will make fun of the groom and brand him as ghar jamai or househusband and make fun of his manhood.”
Next she asked me why as an educated open minded person I feel that such practices are acceptable? I had no answer and I am hoping that my readers would help me find some.

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5 thoughts on “Parents vs In-laws

  1. It is extremely hard to explain the cultural setting of a place to a person who hasn’t been there, let alone different countries. You have to be there to understand the place. I guess the Indian origin of the girl in context won’t help the cause in this case either.
    As far as being educated and rational goes, I think a distinction has to be made between that and being a literate person with cultural influences and social norms. It is hard to be the former since it would imply a colder approach to any culture, including your own. Also, it is equally possible that something being considered educated and rational in France may not be considered so in India :).

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  2. It is a well known fact that two women can not stay together with each other without fighting.The logic of a girl moving to her husband’s house is that it is better to fight with the Mother in law than with the mother:).
    Personally I do not mind moving in with my in-laws,since they are richer than my parents:), provided my BILs are kicked out. Whatever the practice, it has to be standard. Had the practice been the other way round, this friend of your would have then asked the opposite question.

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  3. It is a well known fact that two women can not stay together with each other without fighting.The logic of a girl moving to her husband’s house is that it is better to fight with the Mother in law than with the mother:).
    Personally I do not mind moving in with my in-laws,since they are richer than my parents:), provided my BILs are kicked out. Whatever the practice, it has to be standard. Had the practice been the other way round, this friend of yours would have then asked the opposite question.

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