People from outside our state often refer to us as “Mallus”. And if anyone else calls you a “Mallu” – politely but firmly tell them that you are a MALAYALEE not a ‘Mallu’. the sister of your father or mother; the wife of your uncle Familiarity information: AUNTY used as a noun is very rare.
First Published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1993 So next time before referring to yourself as a ‘ Mallu’ – please think!!!
As an adult woman who has also been called “aunty” one too many times by too many adults who I barely know, I have a bone to pick with what I believe has become a hapless naming practice.
But amongst English-speaking Indian Americans, the frequent use of “aunty” or “uncle” is more often an example of lazy speech, or a desire to bump the individual in question into the category of doddering older-other, than it is a thoughtful moniker of respect. I attended an art exhibition in the home of an Indian-American couple a few months back. This was clearly an example of “you’re from an older, other world, and I’m still young, and I want to put some distance between us.” Here are some guidelines for the use of the term “aunty” and to prevent against the kind of encounter I’ve just described.
The woman who answered the door to show me and my companion around said she was the homeowner. If I have not known you when you were a child, and been a part of your life as you learnt and grew—I am not your aunty. I’ve seen what happens when friends’ parents visit from India, all articulate, successful, professional individuals in their own right, most still working adults, some retired perhaps, who nevertheless are made to feel like tag-alongs in the United States.
A visible image, especially one on a flat surface or screen: the picture reflected in the lake; focused the picture on the movie screen.3. A vivid or realistic verbal description: a Shakespearean picture of guilt.b. A person or object bearing a marked resemblance to another: She's the picture of her mother.5.
A person, object, or scene that typifies or embodies an emotion, state of mind, or mood: Your face was the very picture of horror.6. If she is between 10 and 20 years older than you, do you address her by her first name or last name?
The chief circumstances of an event or time; a situation.7. A tableau vivant."When you meet an adult woman, who is perhaps your mother’s age, what do you call her? Or, do you pause to ask how she would like to be addressed?