Watching the “Dadi’s family” we get acquainted with a traditional extended family living in one of the northern states of India. The video is entirely dedicated to explaining the concept of family in traditional Indian understanding of this word, and, specifically to the role of the family’s female members. We learn about the change of a woman’s social position throughout her life, as she turns into a daughter-in-law and a sister-in-law out of a daughter, and then becomes a mother-in-law, and, thus, the actual head of the family. We also are shown how these social roles have changed with the time.
The main character of the video is Dadi, and she introduces herself telling us that she is a mother-in-law in her extended family. She explains her actual role as “the manager” of the family. She finds this term to be the closest in meaning to what she actually is for her family. She manages all the family’s life and all of their finances. Her family, just like a traditional Indian family, is a single financial unit. They share all their joys and sorrows, they take care of their children and they all together find the solutions for the trouble, once somebody out of the family gets into such.
Dadi shares her experience of going through all the social roles an Indian woman goes through – starting with being a daughter, through becoming a daughter-in-law and sister-in-law, and up till her current position of a mother-in-law.
Dadi realizes that modern tendencies in Indian societies have changed traditional state of things in so many ways, and nowadays women have got other choices apart from getting married and. They can take care of their lives by themselves. She does not criticize such changes – they are the reality and there is nothing bad about them. However Dadi strongly believes that a big united family is a very good means of living through any difficulties, which may not be managed by single individuals or smaller family units. This is why, having the respect for the changes, Dadi does her best in order to keep the family together and make it so that everybody would feel well within this big family unit.
The movie shows us the changes which have occurred to Indian society in terms of social roles of women and the structure of the family unit, and its characters discuss both positive and negative results of such changes.