Conversations with In-Laws and Culture
In American society stereotype the often plays out in most forms of media is that talking with your in-laws can be tough. With movies like me the Fokker's and failure to launch showing the struggles that can come with dealing with in-laws, it surprised me a little that Americans don't have it the worst. In some languages and cultures it's nearly impossible to talk with your in-laws. Parts of Africa Australia and India have societies that restrict certain words that a person may say after marriage. For example some people in Ethiopia follow a rule called ball issue shot which for bids them from using words that begin with the same syllable as the name of their father-in-law or mother-in-law. Another. Another thing that some the societies practice is avoiding speech. Avoiding speech used to be very common with aboriginal languages in Australia but has since largely faded in some areas. Avoiding speech crosses the genders and generations such as there are cultures where a man in his mother-in-law are forbidden to directly address each other as well as instances where a woman in his father-in-law and her father-in-law cannot address each other either. Still though all societies have workarounds to these rules. For example a common thing to do is send in flights to syllables or words that you get around the avoiding speech or the addressing speeches. As to why these systems arose is believed that in the African and Indian regions was it was used in a way to reinforce inferior status of daughter-in-law's, whereas in Australia it was used to limit the chance for sexual relations between in-laws. The biggest take away that I got from this article however though, was that no matter how much we dread talking to in-laws in American society, there are people out there who have it far worse than we do.
ROUSSEAU, B. (2017, January 9). Talking to In-laws Can Be Hard. In Some Languages, It’s Impossible. Retrieved March 29, 2017, from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/09/world/what-in-the-world/avoidance-speech-mother-in-law-languages.html