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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Are common kitchens touchstone of a joint family system?

    We often talk about the joint family system and its disintegration in modern times. In joint families, three-four generations live together. They have a common kitchen and cook meals for the entire family. The family's women take responsibility for the kitchen together by supporting and helping each other. They eat meals together and update each other about the day's happenings during meal time. They share their happiness and sorrows.

    Is it possible to have a joint family without having a common kitchen for all? I think it is not. Separating the kitchen is the first symptom of the disintegration of the joint families.

    What are your observations and comments in this regard? Are common kitchens touchstone of a joint family system?
  • #760937
    I have seen few joint families living in a big building and the Kartha or the head has given the share of each block to his sons and thus they have their kitchen chores individually however the things thus made for the day would be shared jointly at the hall in the down stair which can seat 42 members of the family and it is nice to watch such a gathering for lunch and dinner everyday and there would not be servings even one member is absent. Each son has their own business and they pool the money for the maintenance of the home and children and only the kitchen is separate. The children and the elders are cordial with each other and on every festival, the gathering of other relatives would make a scene of a marriage gathering at their home. This is the best example of joint family system and I must appreciate the Kartha for this great arrangement.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #760945
    It is true that the kitchen is an important common place in the joint family and is in a way a binding force for all the members. In earlier times this was a very common and usual thing to have a common kitchen even for a large number of family members. Unfortunately in the present context this thing is not fitting in a proper way and creating problems for some of the members. I have seen in some families where the brothers live separately in the adjoining flats and parents live with one of them and they have their kitchen and provisions separate from each other but are having good relationships. Today many ladies are going for jobs. The concept of head of the family has also deteriorated and in such a situation, the common kitchen is not going to serve the same purpose that it served decades ago.
    Knowledge is power.

  • #760963
    That is 100% correct. That is the first. Even though we stay in the same house if we cook separately and if we have different kitchens, the thoughts of the separate family will crop up in the mind. In our house, my father, myself and my sons stay. We have a single kitchen only and my wife only will be cooking and other ladies will be helping her in the kitchen work. Generally, I and my father will be eating together. My sons may eat at a different time based on their duty times. My mother, her sister, my wife and my daughters-in-law will be eating together.
    If the kitchens are separate, we can say that is not a joint family. My father and his two brothers stayed for some time in the same house but they have separate kitchens and their expenditures and others are also separate only. But if the brothers go to different places for their jobs but if all of them meet frequently in their parent's place we can say they are in a joint family only.

    always confident

  • #760966
    A joint family means where not only our father but his brothers and family live together. Now, the joint family system is become "once upon a time" like in story books. You can rarely see such joint families. Even if you want to have a joint family, no way one can live peacefully. Mostly in the joint family, as long as the father is alive, he tries to keep everyone together in the family, once he leaves the very first thing that happens in the family is to separate the kitchen. I have seen some families where brothers and sisters live with their parents but once they get married, they prefer their kitchen to be separated. Sometimes, even the father himself allows themselves to have a separate kitchen so that each one lives peacefully. A joint family like Parent and his son's family may be possible to live together. However, having 2 or 3 brothers in a family and all are married, that becomes difficult to stay together.

  • #760980
    In the joint family systems all ladies of the family took automatic responsibility and no allotment of work was given. They never hesitate to cook different items to make joy in the family children. In 1976, we were having only fire oven and no pressure cookers in our house. We were 14 persons in our house and all of us sat for dinner by 9.00 pm in row and ate dinner. One day after everybody finished dinner and cleaned the vessels. Once everything over, a couple from our grandma's village came to our house as guests. After introduction and chatting, my grandfather asked my mother (as she is the eldest) to prepare a meals with payasam (as they came first time after their marriage). My mother asked me to take them to Sri Meenakshi Temple, famous in our city, for darshan. When we return home a super dinner ready for them. My mother and aunt prepared the dinner without any shrink in face.

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