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Aparna Gopinathan considers herself privileged because her daughters will carry forward her family name. In a country infamous for its preference for sons, Gopinathan comes from a family that follows a system of matriliny, which is now unusual in her southern state of Kerala. The system of matriliny in Kerala was most commonly seen among Nair people, a regional group of Hindu castes. In previous centuries, Kerala’s matrilineal system was widely observed not only among Hindus, but also among some Muslim and Christian communities. More than half of the population is said to have followed this system of inheritance over […]

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