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CHATter: Zhang & Wong Family Reunions (was Re: The pitfall of Chinese/Mandarin

From:J Y S Czhang <czhang23@...>
Date:Tuesday, December 11, 2001, 22:24
In a message dated 09.12.2001 01:25:58 PM, hsteoh@QUICKFUR.YI.ORG writes:

>*snicker* there are distinct words for >your father's siblings (and distinctions between younger/older, >male/female), your mother's siblings (and distinctions between >younger/older and male/female), AND your in-laws, plus separate terms with >the same distinctions for each uncle/aunt on your in-laws' side, etc., >etc., ad infinitum. And this only covers relatives of the same >generation... it gets a LOT worse with grandparents, nephews, nieces, ... > >(And, unlike what they tell you, most Chinese can't figure out all those >terms either... they tend to only know those terms that actually >correspond with somebody that exists in their family -- which is a >consequence of having the proper term seared into their memory through >strict repetitious reminders at every single family reunion -- and they >usually have a hard time remembering exactly what relationship the term >denotes. :-P)
ACK! & AiYaH!!! Don't remind me... ::bad memories of totally screwing up all the necessary politenesses demanded from my mother's family - the infamous Wong Side of the Family - at all the various sized gatherings:: I get headaches just tryin' to match up the right forms with the name and faces! It's hard enough that names & faces get confusing (esp'ly the flatter, sly-scholar-like featured faces of the Wongs... after a while one Wong uncle looks like another... or even like an aunt *SNaRFLe* then again I was self-medicating like a madman just to cope with the Wong Family backstabbing & politicking... imagine "Fear & Loathing" Wong Family Reunion Style and that is just a inkling how nightmarish it got... [one positive, at least the Wongs are a lil too "civilized" to get into the more melodramatic -even violent (*) - caca Cantonese and Taiwanese tend to do when these ultra-volitile family big-dos go Really Reaaallly Bad (*) i.e. kitchen knives suddenly gettin' a lil too animate for any sentient person's comfort, other "sharp *and* blunt objects" getting suddenly aerodynamic... and the "AiYaH!" of onlookers increasin' in wildness & craziness like a demented Greek chorus... "Family Values" *SNaRFLe* BTW the Zhangs I descend from are Cantonese-Indonesians/Malaysians/Thais, etc. ... Big Hint: in Malay the word _amok_ comes really too quickly to mind... go figger the rest }:P~ ]) OBCONLANG/CONCULTURE: What family dysfunctionalisms exist in your concultures & how are they described? Or are they "ignored"? czHANgie, lost in remembrance, baffled by memories, somewhat troubled by all this autobiographical spillage... blah *spassogoogolocteto!* ;) *gigglagoogolbyte*/*spassogoogolocteto*