A Hindu Joint Family
or Joint Family
is an extended family
The term extended family has several distinct meanings. In modern Western cultures dominated by nuclear family constructs, it has come to be used generically to refer to grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins, whether they live together within the same household or not. However, it may also refer...
arrangement prevalent among Hindus of the Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...
, consisting of many generations living under the same roof. All the male members are blood relatives and all the women are either mothers, wives, unmarried daughters, or widowed relatives, all bound by the common sapinda
Sapinda is a term used in context of cousin marriages in Hinduism.For example, if the bride is the offspring of the any person within five generations on the groom's father's side and three generations on the groom's mother's side, or vice-versa, they will be referred to as "sapindas" of each other...
relationship. The joint family status being the result of birth, possession of joint cord that knits the members of the family together is not property but the relationship. The family is headed by a patriarch, usually the oldest male called "Karta
Karta can mean:Karta is the senior most and oldest person in Hindu Undivided Family who takes decisions regarding social and Economical aspects of Family. In the HUF Karta is the oldest person and all other males are his blood relatives. He has complete control over the family's welfare, wealth and...
", who makes decisions on economic and social matters on behalf of the entire family. The patriarch's wife generally exerts control over the kitchen, child rearing and minor religious practices. All money goes to the common pool and all property is held jointly.
There are several schools of Hindu Law, such Mitakshara, the Dayabhaga, the Murumakkattayam, the Aliyasanthana etc. Broadly, Mitakshara
The ' is a on the Yajnavalkya Smriti best known for its theory of "inheritance by birth." It was written by Vijñāneśvara, a scholar in the Western Chalukya court in the late eleventh and early twelfth century. Along with the Dāyabhāga, it was considered one of the main authorities on Hindu Law...
The Dāyabhāga is a Hindu law treatise written by Jīmūtavāhana which primarily focuses on inheritance procedure. The digest is most notable for being based on Śāstric doctrines differing from those more commonly used in the , resulting in several basic contradictions between the texts...
systems of laws are very common. Family ties are given more importance than marital ties. The arrangement provides a kind of social security in a familial atmosphere.
Six key aspects of a joint family are:
- Head of the family (Karta) takes all decision regarding financial and economical aspects of family.
- All members live under one roof.
- Share the same kitchen
A kitchen is a room or part of a room used for cooking and food preparation.In the West, a modern residential kitchen is typically equipped with a stove, a sink with hot and cold running water, a refrigerator and kitchen cabinets arranged according to a modular design. Many households have a...
- Three generations living together (though often two or more brothers live together, or father
A father, Pop, Dad, or Papa, is defined as a male parent of any type of offspring. The adjective "paternal" refers to father, parallel to "maternal" for mother...
A son is a male offspring; a boy or man in relation to his parents. The female analogue is a daughter.-Social issues regarding sons:In pre-industrial societies and some current countries with agriculture-based economies, a higher value was, and still is, assigned to sons rather than daughters,...
live together or all the descendants of male live together).
- Income and expenditure in a common pool- property held together.
- A common place of worship
Worship is an act of religious devotion usually directed towards a deity. The word is derived from the Old English worthscipe, meaning worthiness or worth-ship — to give, at its simplest, worth to something, for example, Christian worship.Evelyn Underhill defines worship thus: "The absolute...
- All decisions are made by the male head of the family- patrilineal, patriarchal.
- No division of property until the death of the Karta (head of family or older male person).
Hindu Undivided Family
Hindu Undivided Family
Hindu undivided family is a legal term related to the Hindu Marriage Act. Due to the development of Indian Legal System, of late, the female members are also given the right of share to the property in the HUF...
(abbreviation: HUF) is a legal term related to the Hindu Marriage Act
The Hindu Marriage Act was established in 1955 as part of the Hindu Code Bills. Three other important acts were also created during this time and they include the Hindu Succession Act , the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act , and the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act...
. Due to the development of Indian Legal System, of late, the female members are also given the right of share to the property in the HUF.
In joint families in north and central India, between a bride or sister-in-law and her younger brother-in-law a joking or teasing relationship is common, while the relationship towards an older is that of respectfulness. The same relationship exists between grandmother and grandchild.
In Indian soap operas
Indian soap opera
Indian soap operas are soap operas written, produced, filmed in India, with characters played by Indians , with episodes broadcast on Indian television channels/channel chains that are not often limited to the Republic of India itself: often many “serials,” as they’re more commonly referred to as,...
s are often focused on life and relationships in extended families.