Monday, September 19, 2005

All relative?

The other day I started a little argument between two boys. The two boys, one Bengali and the other English were playing outside our little flat when I as I walked by. So the Bengali boy says "Hello Auntie," and I answered "Hello Sweetie" (or whatever) and talked to him as Aunties generally do, then walked on. Then I over heard the English boy say to him "She can't be your Auntie!" and my boy says "Of course she is". I did not hear the boy's explanation because I was out of earshoot.

Were you to follow me around my neighbourhood, you would think I was related to every race in the world. When the young people are outside, I am followed by an echo of "Hello Auntie, Hello Auntie!!" Someties I do not even know who is shouting the greetings, but I always shout hello back. Sometimes some of the "nephews" behave typically - asking me for chocolate money and making those face no grownup can ignore. Sometimes I will ask one of the many "nieces" and "nephews" to ran to the shop for me - just as if I were back home.

My first young friend when I first moved to this place about 7 years ago, was a Bengali boy. In his cheeky way he asked me what my name was - so I looked at him and said quite sternly "To you, I am Auntie" and that started the whole Auntie business. Sometimes, I will meet my "nephews" and "nieces" in the presence of their parents who look at me in some confusion when their offspring say "hello Auntie" to a total stranger.

I do enjoy walking around in my neighbourhood, especially in the summer when most of my "family" is playing outside. I do not feel so isolated in the company of all those children who despite racial differences know that we are all part of the same human family. We should all be like children - accepting each other without questions.


Blogger BlueberrySwirl said...

I actually find it interesting that you had to say that you were "auntie". From my experience amongst Black people and Indians, all older people are "auntie" or "uncle". My sister was trying to explain to her Jewish friend how our friend's paternal aunt is our "auntie", and she just could not get it. Is it not a cultural thing?

9/19/2005 03:15:00 pm  
Blogger Poi said...

How very cute and sweet? I can imajin all the neighbourhood kids calling me auntie? I'd so blush and keep smiling just like you.

Lol at the parents awe when they hear that.

Have a great week :)

9/19/2005 08:58:00 pm  
Blogger sandman said...

sasa auntie nipatie shillingi.

9/19/2005 10:44:00 pm  
Blogger UARIDI said...

blueberryswirl: hey, thanks for stopping by. I think the young man rather fancied himself as a "lad about town". It is true, I call the older Indian ladies in the neighbourhood "auntie", and they do not blink.

Poi: Yes, I do so enjoy my old age!!! I think the parents have believe I am basically harmless.

Sandman: Asante kwa kutembea. Nimetuma shilingi kwa posta - ama unataka chokolate?

9/20/2005 01:23:00 pm  
Anonymous mshairi said...

It has always seemed to me there are people out there who are desperate for aunties. So thank you for being auntie to those little children - some of them are really sweet;)

As you can see you already have candidates here: sandman and poi;)

9/21/2005 05:54:00 pm  
Blogger UARIDI said...

Mshairi: the more the merrier.

9/21/2005 06:01:00 pm  
Blogger Guessaurus said...

Seeing as you are my 'adopted' auntie, I can be biased :)

Having said that, you sound like a really sweet person (and to your neighbours, of course) and in this society where people literally go out of their way to avoid each other, that is a breath of fresh air.

And being an auntie to anyone is soo special...

9/22/2005 10:51:00 am  
Blogger UARIDI said...

Guess: thank you for that sweet niece. I always feel 10 feet tall when I am surrounded by all the nieces and nephews, adopted or not.

9/22/2005 12:38:00 pm  
Anonymous acolyte said...

That is so sweet!please buy me chocolate.pretty please!

9/23/2005 12:39:00 am  
Blogger UARIDI said...

acolyte - what brand?

9/23/2005 11:22:00 am  
Blogger Paul said...

Sounds great, and disproves that view you occasionally here put forth that racism is somehow "natural." IMO, that's bs. I've had the same sorts of experiences with young children. Bigotry is learned.

9/23/2005 01:11:00 pm  
Blogger nick said...

Hi Auntie.
Jose Maria Escariva had said that we should all aim to be childlike..for kids sure are the best persons to hung around...they sure are the best..enjoy every moment with them.

My nephews and nieces-had reached a stage of callin me uncle(pronounced in a ver long manner..UN...koooooh!) I sweetly told them "DONT U EVER!!!!!" so its just Nick to them

Now speakin of neph...i'm still chillin for a certain

9/23/2005 05:45:00 pm  
Blogger Milonare said...

Auntie Rose

Those young ones are so lucky to have you...

Where were u when I was growing up?? You'd have hooked a naughty young boy up with fudge and mintchoc!!!! Then again, more likely than not you were in nursery then LOLOL

Nice post uaridi!!!

9/24/2005 11:59:00 am  
Blogger UARIDI said...

Paul: when did I ever suggest that racism is natural? If I did please excuse me - I do tend to get emotional about colour prejudice.

Nephew Nick - yes, we should all try to see life as children - everything is wonderful and new!! Enjoy the nephews & nieces. Yes, I have put you on the list- what colour?
Milo: I try and be the auntie I did not have. I am still here and it does not matter how old you think you are - we all need aunties.

Take care you all.

9/24/2005 04:39:00 pm  
Blogger Afromusing said...

so sweet! This post made me smile.

lol at the parents wondering how come their kids are calling you auntie. We really are a big human family.

9/24/2005 09:38:00 pm  
Blogger iamnasra said...

Its true as blueberryswirl we as zanzibarian too any one is older is an aunt or Uncle

9/25/2005 03:11:00 pm  
Blogger UARIDI said...

Afromusing: It is truly a small world. I do enjoy other people's children!!!

iansara: I think it is an African thing to call everyone who older than you by a generation or two "auntie" or "uncle". I think it has to do with not calling our elders by their first name. Thank you for the visit.

9/26/2005 04:38:00 pm  
Blogger Beziq said...

Tha post is so funny...Aunty in the streets of london.

9/27/2005 12:13:00 am  
Blogger Nakeel said...

eeeh tell them how sweet one feel just by being recognized and the name AUNTIE is uttered..
This is sweet and agree you are a darling of people....

@Sandman and Acolyte i thought there were Chocos somewhere poured for you guys

9/27/2005 12:02:00 pm  
Blogger UARIDI said...

Bezque and Nakeel: Thank you for visiting me. It is rather strange to see all those children calling me auntie. I think it is my mission - auntie to the world.

9/27/2005 02:05:00 pm  
Blogger akiey said...

"Mtu ni watu" says a lot about your personality whenever you put a smile on those kids everytime they see you:)
Kids with their unbiased thoughts & nature are probably the best judge of character. You've got to be one great Auntie them all & many in here:)

-Haha! Some parents shocked that theie kids have a kool auntie they didn't know about,lol! Am sure you answer their quizzed look with a disarming smile.
U remind me of my aunt in Manchester, most call her
momma', she has so many 'children' I wonder how she remembers everyone's name or voice on the phone?! Won't be shocked if you are that way:)

9/28/2005 10:06:00 pm  
Blogger UARIDI said...

Actually Akiey, I forget voices and names, but never faces. I think my smile is disarming (modesty) Thank you for the kind words

9/29/2005 01:55:00 pm  
Blogger gishungwa said...

hi auntie, can i have the frilly dress ? Where i live all my moms friends and my friends mothers are auntie and the men are uncle. Dont you just love being auntie to all those cute boys and girls.

12/26/2005 07:03:00 am  

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