Saturday, April 21, 2007

Hi, Auntie!

This is cute.

Every day when I walk into class, I give my laptop bag and the projector case to my students and they set up my system for me while I chat with other students before the class begins. As it happens, I have a picture of my wife, Marilyn, on the computer desktop. When the machines fire up, there she is in all her glorious beauty smiling down on the class.

One day I overheard one of the students refer to her as “Auntie.” Only then did it occur to me that, just as they sometimes call me “uncle”—a term of respect for an older man in India—so “Auntie” would be the corresponding term of endearment for my wife.

And so it goes.

Now every morning, when Marilyn’s picture comes up on the screen, I tell everyone to say “Hi, Auntie!”

And they do; and I think it’s sweet; and I hope you do, too.


Francie said...

Finding this post is so ironic! I work as an assistant manager at an apartment complex, just before closing this couple came in... the wife was from India and the husband from New York. Through conversation, I told her that a resident, R. Patel, worked for his uncle at Dunkin Donuts. She then explained to me that the "uncle" was actually her father and that R. Patel was not really a nephew, but out of respect, called the owner of DD "uncle" out of respect... Pretty interesting! Just by knowing that little piece of information helps me understand that the in the two communities that I work in, that not all those from India are actually related, even though they call so many others family or "uncle" or "aunt"...

koshkha said...

Hi Bernie
Really enjoying reading about your adventures in India.