Wednesday, 27 January 2010

My family has three hundred billion uncles and aunts.... and counting.


For the past few years of my life, I've been (im)politely corrected each time I referred to someone as 'Mrs.X'. This reference almost always ends with  another person immediately suggesting, that I 'just call her X Aunty'. 

So it is fair to ask the obvious question (unless you are Indian, of course) -

Does this mean everyone around you is an Aunt or an Uncle?

Apparently, yes. 

Right from the tea-stall owner to the strange woman who handed me an extra plate at dinner, it is supposedly discourteous to not refer to them as Uncle or Aunty. This Uncle-Aunt, Brother-Sister address is so completely, and atrociously Indian that even our country's pledge reads ' All Indians are my brothers and sisters'. I mean, why couldn't they just not get so damn sentimental about Independence and simply say something to the lines of ' We will stand together as friends and co-exist and love each other' or something? But no. And it's not surprising how everyone becomes some sort of extended family once you call them an Uncle or an Aunt here. From the 'Aunty' at the counter in Spencer's Daily to the Tea Kadai 'Uncle', everyone wants to know about my well-being and my love life. Unbelievable!

It is difficult not to be amazed by Indian society sometimes.

P.S- Swami Vivekananda, just so you know, you're like awesome and all that, but I really think that pledge could've been written with a little more thought.

6 voices:

Gradwolf said...

Tea kadai uncle asks you about your love life? Wow!

subbulakshmistoned said...

Much complex here. I call 'akka', 'mama', 'anna' depending on their burliness. :D

nik said...

ha ha, accidently saw this, But cant help me to stop laughing, I can relate

aandthirtyeights said...

Three hundred billion is still a large number :P

Sum1 said...

Haha...Nice read. It is kinda of a weird custom although somehow it seems completely normal in India. Surprising that you have a problem though. Were you brought up outside India or something? :P

Meera Vijayann said...

@ Sum1 - Haha..Pranay, its fine till it becomes intrusive I guess.