Ah Dad provided me with the funnies this week on his rant about gestures of respect that are unique to specific cultures as he described below:
Down here in Africa, Afrikaans people have been taught to address the elderly with “Oom” (male form) or “Tannie” (female form). It’s roughly translated into “Uncle” and “Aunt”. But it’s not only used for drunk relatives you want avoid at a family reunion. It’s also used when addressing a geriatric.
The culture as he outlined is similar to the culture we have back in Singapore where anyone older would be addressed as “Uncle” or “Aunty” (Pakcik and Makcik in Malay) Somehow, that includes every bus/ taxi drivers as well as the elder generation who works in shops or retail outlets.
So, when you get into a taxi, you’ll say: “Hello Uncle! To Orchard Road by expressway, please.” (or whatever it is you will be saying, but it starts with “Uncle” or “Auntie”). Or if you walk into McDonald’s, you’ll say to the person behind the counter whom you know is older: “Hi Auntie, can I 2 large fries and a diet coke, please?” Or if you happen to see a Makcik dropping her stuff, you’ll run after her and go: “Maikcik , Makcik! I think you dropped this from your bag!”
You get the drift. To the outsiders that would seem weird, but to us that’s normal and acceptable.
Except when you address a complete stranger on the streets, then the connotation to “Uncle” or “Aunty” can be an offensive one. It also comes with a certain, typical “look” which I should not go further on this least I’m being accused of stereotyping.
Reading his post, I completely get it. I can resonate with that as this Uncle-Aunty thing comes with age. Darn it I’ve gotten it several times myself even though I look forever 22 (I wish!).
But that wasn’t the only thing that kept me laughing. It was the way he wrote on how The Destroyer did whatever he could to save his dignity and that had me guffawing until the end. Then this comes to mind:
That something really apt for both Uncles and Aunties (or Ooms or Tannies), don’t you think! Always up for a challenge. Dare you to insinuate old!
For double the humour this week, you gotta hop over to Ah Dad’s and read his post on When showing respect becomes disrespectful. It’s a great read to tide you for the week I assure you because Ah Dad is just a funny guy.
Here’s to an awesome week for all Uncles, Aunties, Pakciks, Makciks, Ooms and Tannies out there! (No disrespect intended)