Oct 2, 2013

Interesting India- You are an 'Aunty' or 'Uncle' here!

Another interesting thing in India- everyone refers to others as family or a relative!! Sometimes I get surprised when a person of my uncle's age refers me to as 'Aunty'!! Or say- in a bus station a beggar girl in rags browned with dirt gently pulls my clothes and says ... Aunty, I didn't have food for n-number of days, give me money ... What???? Oh- Yes! It happens! Don't be surprised :)

An Aunt :)

I grew up in India calling my neighbors 'Uncle' and 'Aunty' but, it sometimes makes me feel funny! A three year old calls me a sister and a random sixteen year old boy calls me an aunt! Actually, it is the way of being respectful and polite. It is a gesture of saying 'You are like my uncle or aunt or Grandpa or Mother or Brother'.  Most of the times I use Behenji (sister) or Bhaisaab (brother)- and it works well when asking for directions and for bargains :) Okay, in Southern India it is completely different!

Sometimes it annoys me- when a woman of my mother's age calls me an Aunt. It happened to me many times. One lady who was of my mother's age referred my Mom as a Grandma!! He he ... so I shot at her why so? Then she explained like this ... If someone refers to you as an Aunt it doesn't mean you are his/her aunt. It just means that you are an aunt. It is like a designation in the family. Now, my Mom has grandchildren so she is a Grandma no matter who calls her that way! Now I have nieces and nephew so I am an aunt. That was an interesting explanation though. 

Whatever, they don't mean anything bad ... you are just an AUNT!

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  1. Very interesting take... most of the bloggers from India that I read never mention this part of it. (Of course as most of us from the US don't mention our problems ...because I read travel and photo blogs and we all would rather just think of the nice parts of things.)

    1. As I said, they mean good. Also, in the work places people call their Boss- sir or madam, may be this comes from British!

  2. I believe this is an Asian thing where we call elders by either aunt or uncle. Everyone is aunt and uncle regardless of relations or lack of blood ties.

    In the Philippines, we even go as far as calling our bffs or sometimes just friends' parents mommy and daddy. I call my friends' parents mommy and daddy and they do the same with my mom. I think it's precious.

    I sometimes cringe when younger people here in America call older people just by their names or daughter in law calling their mother/father in law just by their given name. But that is me being raised an Asian.

    1. In USA, I have heard youngsters calling elders Mr. or Mrs. attached. Yeah, everything is that region's culture. We in India have our own isn't it?

  3. Hey Kusum,i totally agree with you and also understand how annoying it feels no matter how convincing there point is about considering as family member.Such things happened to me as well and i stand for a point that i don't call Aunty/Uncle to any stranger asking for direction or other help,I choose to call Bhaiya or Bahanji(as you said) and Sir/madam if they seem educated and understanding.It worked well for me so far :)

  4. Very nice blogging. Thank you for sharing...


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