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India India's Family Dynamic Undergoing A Change

Jan 6, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
India's family dynamic undergoing a change

Relatives splitting up into own homes

Daily Telegraph - February 7, 2011 2:02 AM

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The large "joint family" of brothers living together with children, daughtersin-law and grandchildren is splitting up, according to a government survey in New Delhi.

The findings reflect a revolution in family life and the growing independence of the country's emerging middle class. More young professionals are moving away to new jobs and new lives in India's booming cities, and the survey found that only 10 per cent of the capital's population now lived in large family groups.

The breakdown of traditional patterns mirrors that of postwar Britain, but the impact is likely to be more keenly felt, as the "Hindu Undivided Family" is recognized in law and is the basic unit of many of the country's leading business conglomerates.

The study showed only 8.4 per cent of homes housed two related married couples, and just 1.7 per cent had three related couples or more living together.

Ashis Nandy, a sociologist, said young people in the capital, in particular those who had migrated from other parts of India, wanted a level of independence not possible in a joint family home.

"A couple can return to home at any hour of the day, which becomes difficult in a joint family," he said.

Shobit Sharma, from Delhi's Lajpat Nagar neighbourhood, said he had left his extended family with mixed feelings.

"We lived in a joint family until 2005, but due to space problems we had to live separately. Now if we get home late, watch TV on high volume, scream, shout or do whatever we like, nobody bothers us and we don't bother anyone."

© Copyright (c) The Province

source: http://www.theprovince.com/news/todays-paper/India+family+dynamic+undergoing+change/4235181/story.html

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