Nepal | July 18, 2019

A daughter’s changing role


Anusuya Puri

In our society, daughters tend to be heavily pampered, but becoming a daughter in-law changes everything. A dad feels proud when his daughter makes a cup of coffee, but after marriage, this becomes her sole responsibility as a daughter-in-law.

The society has set the tradition, which has not changed even with the passing of generations.

The perception lies inside our head and in the strict traditions we have been following.

Daughters seem to have instant approval of the things they want while a daughter in-law must struggle to have her word conveyed, and it only happens when a husband articulates her voice in the family.

Many a time, when a daughter throws tantrums, a mother will say, ‘You will know once you get married.’ Makes me wonder what I am going to learn and why she says that to me. This is how we have been brought up, with constant negativity that all things might not go well with us.

On the other side, it is not necessary to consider a daughter-in-law as a daughter. Only that she must be treated with respect and accepted as a family member. It is understandable that it takes time to completely adopt a new woman as a daughter.

The already scared girl is nervous getting into a new family whereas the expectations of the in-laws to see her gel with the family members right away could cause a mental breakdown.

The girl is new to the family and may take time to adjust to the situation. Just as the girl requires time to adjust, the family does, too. But yes, a lot of it depends on the people involved.

The husband gets the respectable tag of “son-in-law”, who can afford to be very laidback about everything, and the society takes it as normal behaviour, while a daughter-inlaw must assume the responsibility of the entire household.

If only there is less pressure on everyone to impose one’s way on others, if only we could leave behind all the inhibitions, insecurities and rise above the mental filters and barriers, if only we could leave behind the ego that what belongs to me is the best and develop some empathy for each other, it would be a smooth ride for the daughter-in-law into the new family.

Efforts are needed from both the sides. Adequate adjustment is needed by both.

It is important not only for the daughter-in-law to learn more about the new family but also for the new family to learn more about their daughter-in-law.

A version of this article appears in print on March 18, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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