Veetodu Maapilai or Ghar Jamai is a man living in his spouse’s parents’ home. Since we think only women must live in their spouse’s parents’ homes – he is likely to be labeled a JKG.
Somewhere in the blogosphere…
“There are empirical arguments against Veetodu Maapilai…”
“There tends to be some friction between a son-in-law and father-in-law. As between MIL and DIL. But testosterone is a powerful hormone and women are thought to handle conflicts better.”
I agree about the presence of friction but I don’t think women handle conflicts better. If women-handling-the-conflicts-while-men-manage-their-testosterone-levels arrangement worked, we would have welcomed baby girls with the same joy we welcome baby boys.
We discuss the symptoms – suicides by young married women, dowry, bride burning, female foeticide and infanticide, ladke-wale-ladki-wale attitude (Do click!), domestic violence etc while avoiding looking at the real issue .
The conflicts (and the terrible consequences) will continue until all married adults are free to live where ever it works best for them, because only then will half the children not be seen as a challenging responsibility, to be trained to serve another family; a daughter’s parents will continue to be forced to bribe the husband’s family with dowry to accept her servitude.
Whenever daughters in law have had a choice, they have avoided these conflicts and moved out of their in laws homes (and this, despite the terrible social stigma).
Most women say they would rather live in poverty than live with mental stress.
“Can man X rightfully ask for the 4th coffee of the day or whatever he wants in his in-laws’ house? The kitchen belongs not to his wife but his MIL.”
So we know why,
1. Daughters in law must not eat until other family members in their husband’s home have eaten. [It’s not about hot hot chappaties]
2. In many parts of the country a daughter’s parents must not even drink a glass of water in their daughter’s marital home.
3. Daughters in law have to take permission if they want their friends or family to have a meal at their husband’s parents’ house.
Breaking these rules can bring disapproval. The disapproval, justified or oppressive, can bring ‘dishonor’ to a daughter’s parents.
So long as we think it’s wrong for a Veetodu Maapilai to live in his spouse’s parents’ home while it is the duty of his spouse to live in his parents’ home, we are unlikely to see Indian newly weds being blessed with ‘May you have healthy children‘, because ‘children’ would include daughters. 😐