What’s In A Name?

Whenever I’m going to blog about something that involves a little family story, I usually go wordy whenever I introduce to my readers the characters, who are of course my family members.

I just really can’t go along writing just their names. I feel like I am disrespecting them, even if I’m not in any way. So whenever I have to mention them in any of my post, I always have to include who they are specifically, like “my sister Jacqueline”, or I just don’t bother writing their names at all and just write “my sissy”. Sometimes I think it’s stupid to write stuff that way but I don’t like being impolite.

But why does that make me feel impolite?

Maybe I’m just so accustomed with the culture that we have here in the Philippines.

Here, whenever we talk to our older sisters and/or brothers, we have the right and proper words that we use in addressing them. Kinda close to the “mom” and “dad” thing.

ATE (ah-teh) & KUYA (coo-ya) – They mean “older sister” and “older brother” respectively. But the usage of these words don’t just end with that. We also use them whenever we are going to address any female/male older than us, or whenever we have to call the attention of any females/males that we may or may not know, young or old.

I call my older sister Jacqueline “ate” and I call my older brother Mark “kuya” instead of calling them by their names because that is just plain rude.

It’s definitely one of the most important things our parents taught us when we were younger. I honestly feel a little shudder whenever I see/hear teens talk to anyone older than them without respect. Because I believe that if you want to be respected in return, then you must pay respect as well.

So there. Whenever I have to talk to or about someone in my family, I always, always have to make sure I use the right words. I’d rather have an ugly, under/over constructed blog post than to make them think I forgot my morals.


2 thoughts on “What’s In A Name?

  1. That’s interesting, Jess. We’ve typically grown up calling each other by name, or a nickname that holds a special connotation, or symbolizing sibling closeness. Respect is not as prevalent as it once was, to elders or to authority figures.

    • True that. It’s sad how respect to the elders isn’t valued anymore as much as it used to be. I think even if the parents try their best to actually disciple their kids, sometimes it’s the community, the friends and/or the media that teaches them to be like that.

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