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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Why use the name 'in law'

    Even though many people after marriage may be having very good relations with their in laws, sometimes it looks as if the name ' in law' itslef creates problems.
    After marriage, there is an amalgamation of families and relatives from both sides and the way of addressing is still different.
    For example, why is it 'brother in law ' and not simply brother.Another way of addressing should be 'brother in real' or 'brother for life' since these relations are joined together for life.
    Brother in law still sounds a bit on the legal side only and does not carry warmth in the way of addressing and hence the feeling of not really being a part of the family.
    In India, we address a brother in law as 'devarji' or 'jethji' in terms of age and not simply 'bhai'
    These are my views totally and members may post their opinions on the same.
  • #576778
    There are social and cultural variations in different regions of the world. As far as relations are concerned, the same are primarily not purely social in nature. There are many legal aspects also involved with the same like property inheritance etc. The system of describing relations as 'in-laws' is perhaps borrowed from the English legal system. The modern legal system was introduced in India during the period of British rule and the same in continuing.

    In the cases of blood relatives generally many witnesses become available in case a need for the same arises. Though, in case of relationships formed through the process of marriages also generally witnesses are available but nowadays there is a trend of documenting the same also like registration of marriage etc.

    We had a long dicussion about the subject matter in the forum section few months back which can be searched using appropriate keyword using ISC search features.

    Let us encourage each other in sharing knowledge.

  • #576788
    The usage of the term has its base in the ancient times. It has been assumed that the word was first used in 14th or 15th century. The word has been traced to Canon law during the 15th century.

    The Canon Law imposes guidelines whom you cannot marry. From that logic, a father in law is equivalent in stature to your biological father and hence the marriage is not possible. Carrying forward from the guidelines, the terms have continued to exist even today.

    It could as well mean that your in laws enjoy the same rights and duties as your naturally related ones do. A mother in law should have all rights and duties with respect to you just like your biological mother.

    Live....and Let Live...!

  • #576791
    The expansion of LAW is Love And War
    Mother-in-law (Mother In Love And War)
    Brother-in-law (Brother in Love And War)
    Sister-in-law (Sister in Love and War) and so on with all in-law

    After our marriage, the relationship may either have good love or it would stain and worsen like a war between the people from two different homes. Either there could be love and understanding or war with misunderstanding. Hence in-law means in love and war.

    How do you like my explanation?

    No life without Sun ¤

  • #576792
    In India we define each and every relation with a specific name so as to avoid confusion. If we compare with English terminology, ours is much more detailed and unambiguous. For example in English it will be said Uncle, but in Hindi you will be told exactly what the relation of that uncle is - Chacha, Mama, Taya, Phupha, Mausa. Similarly, we don't call our in laws as in laws, rather they have their own designated titles - Saas, Sasur, Nanad, Devar, Jeth, Bhabhi etc.
    As we have picked up English as a language, we have picked up the same terminology as well. While we can't do anything about the terminology that currently exists, we can always choose to use our own way of addressing our family (by blood or marriage) which makes us feel comfortable.


  • #576868
    Well no Indian is having that much guts to say that the Bahu is her daughter and hence they take the help of law and say that she is daughter in law. Like wise Daamad cannot be taken as real son and therefore we take the help of law to refer him as Son in law.
    K Mohan
    I consider myself as the learner everyday

  • #576873
    Well, I think that the terms mother in law, father in law, brother in law, sister in law are coined because they should be treated (respect etc,.) like mother, father, brother, sister respectively. I just found this information. Two men who are fathers in law to each other's children may be called co fathers in law. Similarly, two women who are mothers in law to each other's children may be called co mothers in law.

    #576791 (Mr. Sun) : I like your explanation. I don't know the reason for calling 'in law'. Is your explanation the real one or a creative one?

  • #576879
    Farheen (#576792 ) - The variation in the nomenclature of the relations in western societies and in Indian societies is perhaps primarily due to the difference in the social fabric using which the web of relationships are woven. There was more interdependence and defined roles and responsibilities of various components of the relative's webs in the Indian societies. The western societies were more individualistic and there was less or no interdependence. Therefore they didn't care much about being too much specific or particular in defining each and every relationship. There were either brothers or cousins. Similarly, there was either the father or the uncles or the mother and the plethora of aunts.
    Let us encourage each other in sharing knowledge.

  • #576887
    Brother-in-law, Sister-in-law, Daughter-in-law, Mother-in-law and Father-in-law originated from the concept of legal (law) marriage. These words also indicate that those persons don't have blood relations. The relations develop only through marriage. Generally, Brother-in-law, Sister-in-law, Daughter-in-law, Mother-in-law and Father-in-law can't replace Brother, Sister, Daughter, Mother or Father. However, there are definitely some exceptions. But exceptions only prove the general rule.
    “Whenever I feel the need to exercise, I lie down until it goes away.” - Paul Terry

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