Family is the most important aspect of Indian culture. The strong family emphasis sets it apart from cultures all around the world. Traditions that are centuries old are still carried out today and valued very highly.
The closeness of family members is not only represented emotionally, but physically. Up to four generations will live under one household. This includes grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews! Families also show their love for one another by caring for and financially supporting family members who have been widowed, handicapped, or have never been married.
Elderly family members are often shown great respect and admiration. As they olden in age, their responsibilities become very few and no longer have to worry about bringing in support or helping with finances. Interestingly, it is viewed as extremely offensive to send them away to an old age home. The elderly will live out the rest of their days in the family household and will be confronted when others are in need of wisdom.
The family dynamic is very traditional. The father leads the household and provides all of the income. The wife is responsible for raising children as well as caring for older family members. The wife is completely submissive to the husband and makes sure to please him at all costs. Male children are greatly preferred over females because of their higher place in society and specific advantages. Children are taught to be obedient and revere their parents. Children will not have much independence until they are the “head” of the family.
The love and appreciation for family is one of the strongest aspects of Indian culture. However, the family will never work without God. God ordained the family, and when society tries to succeed without Him, the family is doomed to fail. Please pray that missionaries will go share Christ with families who will turn to Him and find life.