A family is a group of individuals directly linked by connections. The older or adult members of which assume responsibility of taking care of children. Kinship ties are connections between individuals, established either through marriage or through the lines of descent that connect blood relatives. Eg. mothers, fathers, siblings, offspring, etc. Learn the kinship in India here in detail.
Marriage and Kinship in Hindu Law
Marriage may be defined as a socially acknowledged & approved sexual union between two adults. When two people marry, they become kin to one another. The marriage bond connects together a wider range of people too. Parents, sisters, brothers & other blood relatives become relatives of the partner through marriage.
Basically, family relationships have kinship groups. A nuclear family has two adults living together in a household with their own or adopted children. In conventional societies, the nuclear family was part of a larger kinship network of some type.
In an extended family close relatives apart from the married couple and children live in the same household. For eg: An extended family may include grandparents, sisters, and their husbands, brothers and their wives, aunts, and nephews.
Patterns of Marriage
Cultural norms and laws, recognize people as suitable or unsuitable marriage partners. Some marital standards promote endogamy, marriage between people of the same social category.
- Endogamy curbs marriage prospects to others of the same age, race, religion, or social class.
- Exogamy mandates marriage between people of different social categories.
In rural India, people are expected to marry someone of the same caste (endogamy) but from a different village (exogamy). The idea of endogamy is that people of homogeneous position pass along their standing to their little ones and hence maintain the traditional social hierarchy. However, Exogamy builds alliances and encourages cultural diffusion.
In high-income nations, laws prescribe monogamy (from the Greek, meaning “one union”), a marriage that unites two partners. Whereas monogamy is the rule in high-income countries, many lower-income countries especially in Africa and southern Asia the practice of polygamy is permitted. (from the Greek, meaning “many unions”), a marriage that unites three or more people.
Basically, Polygamy takes two forms:
Mostly, the most common form is Polygyny (from the Greek, meaning “many women”). Such a marriage unites one man and two or more women. For example, Islamic nations in the Middle East and Africa permit men to have four wives. Even so, most Islamic families are monogamous because very few men can afford to support several wives and even more children.
Polyandry (from the Greek, meaning “many men” or “many husbands”) is a marriage that unites one woman and two or more men. Tibet witnesses this rare pattern. There, polyandry discourages the division of land into parcels too small to support a family and divides the work of farming among many men.
Laws Related To Hindu Marriage
Marriage is a union of two minds, bodies and souls. The Hindu marriage act,1955 covers the marriage and divorce among Hindus (including Jains and Buddhists)
According to the law, marriage is a holy sacrament. At the time of marriage, the following conditions should be fulfilled:
- Firstly, both individuals should be Hindus
- A boy should be at least 21 years and girl 18 years old
- Neither person should be insane or suffering from epilepsy
- Also, one cannot marry within prohibited degrees of relations – 5 degrees patri kin and 3 degrees matri kin
- There must be a religious ceremony in accordance with Hindu rites
- Furthermore, it is not necessary to register a Hindu marriage – section 8 has a mandate by the Supreme Court of India which advices all couples to register their marriages.
- Finally, polygamy is a big NO-NO as per Hindu Marriage
Questions on Kinship in India
Ques1) Which of the following country’s tribe follow Polyandry?
Ans) Tibet is the correct answer.