Gharjamai

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This article is about the Indian term. For the 2008 film, see Gharjamai (film).

Across the Indian sub-continent, the term Gharjamai refers to a live-in son-in-law. The term literally means househusband in Indian languages such as Hindi and Gujarati. The term is used across the sub-continent with different pronunciations and synonyms. In Urdu the word Ghardamad is used where Damad is the Urdu word for son-in-law. The pronunciation Gharjawai is also used.

The everyday meaning pertains to any man that gets married and then lives with his wife's family or depends on the wife's family for support. The term carries a social stigma in Indian society, as husband is traditionally considered responsible for running the household and depending on the wife's family for support is held in a negative view. In more modern usage, the overall financial position of the son-in-law is considered and taken into account when using this label; if, for example, the son-in-law possesses land or other property, he is not considered a Gharjamai. Varying definitions exist, however.

As Indians emigrate to Occidental countries, the term Gharjamai has in turn been Westernised, and abbreviated to 'GJ' and is used as a light-hearted insult whenever a married man acts as a subordinate to his wife or her parents.

Films and TV serials both with a serious and light hearted view have been made about this phenomenon.[1]

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