Uncles and Aunties

The uncle and aunty is a social phenomenon making an impressive entry in the cultural evolution of societies where it is poised to create informal yet respectable relationship between young and old.

Promod Puri

It is smart, respectable and even practical.

Uncles and aunties designations have become popular among younger generation of South Asians to address their parents’ friends or older contacts. Instead of calling them by their first or last names, with prefix Mr. or Mrs., the unrelated nephews and nieces develop a kinship with the choice of an etiquette which is more personal.

The uncle­-auntie entitlement is in vogue in other cultures as well. But the South Asian youths go a step further. To show more reverence, ‘ji’ pronounced like ‘g’, is attached to address the instantaneous relatives as uncle-ji and aunty-ji. Perhaps this arrangement establishes a more amiable and closer connection.

The conventional practice of using Mr., Mrs. or madam is not only becoming obsolete in casual encounters, but these appellations create ritualistic formality. Whereas, the consensual tie up among universal ‘‘uncles and aunties” and their equally universal “nephews and nieces”…

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