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Unread 6 Nov 2005, 02:21   #1
s|k
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Mama-chan and Papa-chan

When your life partner is from another, drastically different culture, you pick up on some things that stand out from expected norms. This true of Ayako and I. I have noticed one thing in particular that I wanted to share with you guys. I studied anthropology of Hawai'i and Japan there's this whole thing about contextual identity I can go into, but I just want to show you how as my relationship with Ayako has changed, so have our names. It's a Japanese thing.

Ayako and Bjorn

When Ayako and I first met (I was her resident assistant in the university dorms in Hawai'i), I called her Ayako and she called me Bjorn. A little over a year later the names remained the same as we dated. Once Ayako moved in with me she stared calling me 'Bjorn-o.' Now a lot of couples have 'pet names' but it's different for Japanese, people actually have different names with different people depending on their relationship. 'Bjorn-o' I think was a pet name.

Ayako-chan and Bjorn-kun

A few months to a year after being together, Ayako started referring to me as 'Bjorn-kun.' The -kun suffix applies to familiar, related boys. So I started calling her 'Ayako-chan' and 'Aya-chan,' the -chan is for girls and for very familiar, close family members. This continued for the next two years.

Mama-chan and Papa-chan.

After Ayako and I came back from Japan, where I met her family, she started calling me 'Papa-chan.' She also began to refer to herself in the third person as 'Mama-chan' and I've started calling her that too. I've also started to refer to myself in the third person while speaking to her. I'll tell her 'Papa-chan has to go to work,' and the like. We also, because of our dog and cat, sort of see ourselves as a family and I think that also let to the change to mama-chan and papa-chan.

It's interesting to reflect back on it and see how the relationship and the names have evolved over time. I wonder what's next.
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Unread 6 Nov 2005, 02:23   #2
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Re: Mama-chan and Papa-chan

I think that it's awfully sweet
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Unread 6 Nov 2005, 05:13   #3
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Re: Mama-chan and Papa-chan

I think it's ever so slightly disturbing. Like getting you missus to call you 'Daddy'.
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Unread 6 Nov 2005, 07:06   #4
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Re: Mama-chan and Papa-chan

Well I'm trying to highlight a cultural difference of Japan and how names for people change over time depending on your relationship and status with them.
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Unread 6 Nov 2005, 07:16   #5
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Re: Mama-chan and Papa-chan

And I'm trying to highlight how damn creepy it is that your girl calls you 'Daddy' (basically).


Never mind though. I still love you*.


*this may not be true
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Unread 6 Nov 2005, 08:37   #6
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Re: Mama-chan and Papa-chan

The same thing happens here as well.

My fiancees' father used to call me the paper boy when I was 16. Then it became 'That long haired bastard' It's only now a few years later he actually calls me by my given name.
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Unread 6 Nov 2005, 12:25   #7
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Re: Mama-chan and Papa-chan

Quote:
Originally Posted by IncubusGod
I think it's ever so slightly disturbing. Like getting you missus to call you 'Daddy'.
That's disturbing?

Oh.
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Unread 6 Nov 2005, 23:11   #8
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Re: Mama-chan and Papa-chan

Pretty cute.
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Unread 6 Nov 2005, 23:22   #9
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Re: Mama-chan and Papa-chan

Quote:
Originally Posted by IncubusGod
And I'm trying to highlight how damn creepy it is that your girl calls you 'Daddy' (basically).


Never mind though. I still love you*.


*this may not be true
It doesn't really translate as 'daddy.' It's closer to 'old father.'
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Unread 7 Nov 2005, 12:38   #10
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Re: Mama-chan and Papa-chan

my wife and I do something similar, with the exception of course of her being Chinese and me being English, and so cultural things tied to these two nations instead.
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