Indian families are generally very large and complicated so I wanted to write a little post on what the different family relationships are called. Whereas in English there’s just one word for ‘uncle’, in Gujarati we have five different names to more clearly explain the relationship.
There’s this bit in the movie Bride and Prejudice (so much love for this movie, even the super cheesy bits!) where the mother says to her daughters that a guest, Koli saab, is coming to dinner. When they ask who that is, she say it’s their “father’s sister’s husband’s sister’s son” which in Gujarati would simply be ‘Fua-na Ben-ni Dhikro’ – much easier! Below is a very simple version showing the key relationships (there’s a lot more when you add in your husband’s or wife’s extended family but I’ll save that for another time!). There are obviously variations to this in different families – for example, I call my dad Papa, but he used to call his dad Bapuji.
I’m off travelling around India for the next month and will be meeting some of my extended family when I’m out there which I’m super excited about – I’ll keep you posted on my adventures while I’m travelling!