Creo en la importancia de las palabras para reflejar por ejemplo la importancia de ciertos conceptos.
En el idioma hindi hay una palabra diferente para cada miembro de la estructura familiar, no es lo mismo los parientes por lado materno que los paternos, y todos los tíos, abuelos, hermanos y cuñados tienen un nombre distinto segun su posición jerárquica.
Es increible la riqueza de términos para designar a cada familiar.
Por ejemplo, bhabiji, que es la mujer del hermano mayor.
En pakistan a esa mujer se la llama bhabhi
A las mujeres no se nos llama por nuestro nombre jamás, se considera una falta de respeto, y se nos suele nombrar como bhabiji (el ji es marcador de respeto, también significa sí), didi (hermana), aunty (tía, por los niños mas pequeños sobretodo o para mujeres de mayor edad).
El nombre de las mujeres queda para la intimidad de la familia, del esposo.
De la misma manera, al esposo no se le llama por su nombre, sino ji o pati dev (esposo respetado) o pati ji (esposo).
Así lo explica también Jumpa Lahiri en su libro ‘The namesake’, pero no se limita a la cultura bengalí, es en todo el subcontinente.
Entre hombres no son muy mirados a la hora de poner apodos, hay nombres como Motu (gordo) y Kalu (negro), también bastante comunes, por cierto, que no he oído en mujeres…
Y los occidentales, turistas o residentes, somos los goras, o angrezis, los blancos o ‘ingleses’, vestigio de Raj britanico. Todos los blancos somos llamados ingleses.
Términos familiares en el Norte de la India
There are many different words for father in India because there are 14 official languages not to mention lingering traces of Sanskrit and influences of Urdu in Northern India. Some common terms for father are: Daddy, Baba, and Papa.
The same applies for mother as for father. Common forms of mother are: Mummy, Ma, Ama, Mata.
Bayhen pronounced Bay hen and Didi, pronounced like the name Dee Dee. Bayhen is very formal and rarely used in everyday conversations. It is more often used in movies or books. Didi is the most common way of addressing your sister.
Bhiya pronounced Ba hi ya
Nanaji pronounced Nana jee – Ji is a symbol of respect and is almost always attached to older relatives terms.
Naniji pronounced Nannie Jee
Dadaji pronounced Da Da Jee
Dadiji pronounced da dee jee
Aunt (mother’s sister)
Massiji pronounced Mass ee jee
Aunt (father’s sister)
Buahji pronounced boo ah jee
Uncle (mother’s brother)
Mamaji pronounced Mama jee
Uncle (father’s younger brother)
Chachaji pronounced Cha Cha jee
Uncle (father’s elder brother)
Taoji pronounced T ‘ ow jee
Aunt (mother’s brother’s wife)
Mamiji pronounced Mommy jee
Aunt (father’s younger brother’s wife)
Chachiji pronounced Cha Chee Jee
Aunt (father’s elder brother’s wife)
Taiji pronounced Tie Jee
Cousin (mother’s or father’s niece or nephew)
This is where it can get complicated for westerners. In the US we call all cousins “cousin” and if necessary we will explain that this is our maternal cousin or paternal cousin by saying something like “this is my mother’s sister’s son”. In India, cousins on both sides of the family are considered cousin-sisters and cousin-brothers. Therefore, a person may be introduced as someone’s brother or sister when they are really their cousin. It is interesting to note that when someone is in a situation that the amount of brothers and sisters a person has might affect the outcome, such as when arranged marriages are being spoken about between both parties, care will be taken to make sure the other party understands that the person is a cousin-sister or cousin-brother. It is often the case that the elder cousin is referred to as “bhaiya” or “didi” by the younger cousin. If they are very close, the younger one may even use the older cousin’s name but the term for brother or sister is always used to show respect. Example, “Naveen Bhiya” or “Divya Didi
Husband’s Brother’s wife or Cousin- Brother’s wife
Told you this could get complicated. Now when a brother or cousin brother marries a woman, the younger cousins will refer to her as Bhabi, pronounced B’ha Bee or in Punjab they may refer to her Bharjai, pronounced B’har jie. Often, they will just call her by this term, but sometimes to distinguish between one Bhabi and another, it is necessary to put her name with the term such as Melanie Bhabi. Technically, this term is used only by the person who is related to the husband. For example, Melanie is married to Naveen. Therefore, technically speaking, Naveen’s actual brother and cousins would address Melanie as Bhabi but their spouses would not. Naveen’s brother’s wife would more likely call Melanie “Didi” to mean sister if Melanie were elder to her, otherwise they would most likely call each other by name depending on the closeness of the relationship.