My mom, the Basket Aunty…

In Indian society, every older unrelated male is an uncle and older unrelated female an aunty (not aunt, aunty).  Your real uncle and aunts are given their designations by the relationship they come to be your real aunts and uncles by.  Your mother’s brothers are your Mamas and your father’s sisters your Poowas. Or Foi or Aatha depending on the dialect you speak.  And you then also have big dads and big moms for the eldest uncles and aunts.  Everyone else who is older is designated uncle or aunt and then their name.  The neighbour, Aunty Saras (not to be confused with the neighbour-aunty, Saras) or Uncle Sagren who lives down the road.  When, as an Indian kid, you don’t know someone by their name you default to some attribute of how they look or what they do with and added uncle or aunty at the front.  So the Fowl Aunty was the lady who provided fresh chickens on a Saturday morning, Fisher Uncle or Uncle Fishy was a good fisherman and the Milk Uncle drove the van that sold bread and milk and sweets that came around at 3 o’ clock every afternoon.  That’s probably how my mother ended up being the  Basket Aunty and then the Sweet Aunty. Continue reading “My mom, the Basket Aunty…”

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