The most common joint family activity is talking together (44% of the families surveyed chose this as the main nuclear family activity; see chap. 5).
There is some constraint on fathers talking with daughters, and several informants have told me that until two or three decades ago, it was common for daughters to avoid any face-to-face contact with their fathers. Thus, daughters did not remain in the same room as their fathers and a daughter would only converse with her father by addressing him through the door from outside the room he was in.
Such avoidance is not common now, but there is still constraint so that, for example, when the family television is on, the daughters of the household usually sit together, often with the mother, on one side of the room while sons sit with their father on the other side. The separation of women from men affects not only the daughter but also the mother/wife. A grown, married woman typically and usually has a rich social life with her female kin and neighbors, but her movements are restricted and much of her time is spent at home or visiting in the homes of nearby kin and friends. Women venture out to buy their own clothing and make small purchases from the tiny food and sundries shops (called reshun ) scattered throughout Old Town. The main shopping for groceries, meat, fish, and other household supplies is done by the men of the house.
The sons spend more time away from the family home than anyone else, playing with their male kin and neighbors when they are young and going off to school and work as they mature. The daughters spend a fair amount of time with their same sex kin and neighbors, but they are more restricted in what they do than their brothers are and one rarely sees girls and young women outside their houses.
Both boys and girls attend religious school (chuo, pl. vyuo ) beginning at the age of 5 or so and generally attend for at least a year or two as they learn to read the Koran and to write, usually with limited ability, in Arabic. These schools are timed so that the older children can attend secular school, but many religious schools have long sessions on the days when the secular schools are closed.
Children all shinda (spend the day) with kin in other households, but this is of limited importance for boys who, although they continue to visit, mainly stop spending a whole day at the house of a kinsman when they are old enough to spend their time playing soccer and wandering around the neighborhood with other boys of their age. For girls, the days at the houses of kin are their main opportunity to leave the family home, and they generally continue this more-or-less supervised, daylong kin visiting until marriage.