Holidays and Family Time

Hello, everyone!  I hope you all have sufficiently recovered from your Thanksgiving holiday by now (those of you who celebrate it, anyways.)  Hopefully the food comas have passed, the waistlines gone back to pre-feast measurements, and the fridge is no longer overflowing with leftovers.  I ate a tremendous amount of food (but that’s nothing new for me) not only on Thanksgiving Day but the following days as well, due to the sudden influx of out-of-town relatives and friends visiting.  But I did manage to wake my sorry butt up and go running the day after!  I think that although I haven’t run in a while, the quick burst of energy prevented me from sinking into a post-Thanksgiving daze all weekend long.  The weather was deliciously hot- I got to bust out those tank tops and shorts and bask in the glory that is Southern California.

Here’s a picture of the amazing turkey my mom roasted (garnished with herbs and flora from our yard)- it’s always good, but I think this year might have been the best one yet.  This is one recipe I won’t be sharing with you because I’m selfish like that.  Your turkey will never be as good as ours!  (Insert evil laugh here.)  But I will tell you that this year we added some white wine to the brine so maybe that’s the key to having an awesome turkey…I’m drooling just thinking about it- can Thanksgiving come again soon?  It’s the only time of the year when I get to tell myself that eating pumpkin pie for breakfast is a good thing…

Thanksgiving Turkey!

On a non-food related note, I finally became an aunt for the first time last night!  My cousin had a beautiful baby girl and as the first baby born to the new generation, everyone in my family is very excited.  Those of you who know my family know I only have a younger brother who is WAY too young to be thinking about producing offspring.  So technically, the new baby is really my first cousin once removed and not my niece.  (Don’t worry, I know all the terms- you can’t outsmart the genealogy geek!)

But I will always be regarded as her aunt, and not her cousin.  Confused?  In Chinese families (and other cultures that place high regard in Confucian values such as honoring your elders, obeying your parents, etc. etc.) if I am older, I am accorded more respect (“respect” being applied very loosely- it’s not like I bow to my older cousins every time I see them or anything like that!).  Regardless if she is my cousin’s child or my brother’s child, she is born in the new generation and she’s significantly younger than me, so that makes me her aunt.

I’m sure those of you with Asian families know what I mean when I say that everybody who I’m vaguely related to is called “auntie” or “uncle”- and even if you’re not blood related, if you’re a somewhat close family friend, you’ll still probably be given those titles even if you’re not Chinese.  Calling someone “aunt” or “uncle” implies a sense of familiarity and comfortable respect, rather than the sort of distant respect one gives to a stranger with “Mr.” or “Ms.”  Of course, every family is different and I am certainly not one to speak for all Chinese people, but this is generally how things work when it comes to defining familial relations.

This is probably a much longer and complicated answer to the simple question: “Why are you her aunt if it’s not your brother’s kid?”  But every time I tried to explain why it was so, I’d get blank looks.  So I’m going to refer all confused persons to this post and leave them to it.    I apologize if this post put you to sleep- I just jump on any chance I get to talk about genealogy 🙂

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