Know Thy Relations

The Indians have different terms for paternal and maternal relationship in their language. which the British lack. For example, according to our customs our father’s younger brother is called Kaka and his wife is called Kaki, Similarly, our father’s elder brother is called Mota Bapuji (Ada) and his wife is called Motaba. But according to the British relationship terminology both Kaka and Mota Bapuji is referred as Uncle. Kaki and Motaba is referred as Aunt (Auntie).

Instead of using Uncle-Auntie or Cousin the following biological index would be helpful for our younger generation, born or brought up in this country, to learn and understand our way of addressing the relations. It will enhance the real meaning of our relations which will be helpful in retaining the richness of our traditional cultural unity and its values.

Relation Meaning
Ada (Mota Bapuji) Father’s elder brother
Baa (Maa) Mother
Bahen Sister
Banevi (Jeejaji) Sister’s husband (applicable to both husband and wife)
Bapuji (Pitaji) Father
Bhai Elder or younger brother
Bhabhi Elder or Younger brother’s wife
Bhanej Sister’s son or daughter
Bhatrija Brother’s son (nephew)
Bhatriji Brother’s daughter (niece)
Dada Grandfather
Dadima Grandmother
Der (Diyaar)* Husband’s younger brother
Derani* Husband’s younger brother’s wife
Dikro (Putra) Son
Dikri (Putri) Daughter
Fai (Faibaa) Father’s sister
Fuaa Father’s sister’s husband
Jamai Son-in-law
Jeth* Husband’s elder brother
jethani* Husband’s elder brother’s wife
Kaka Father’s younger brother
Kaki Father’s younger brother’s wife
Mama Mother’s elder or younger brother
Mami Mother’s elder or younger brother’s wife
Masa Mother’s elder or younger sister’s husband
Masi Mother’s elder or younger sister
Motaba Father’s elder brother’s wife
Motabapu Father’s elder brother
Nanabapu Mother’s father
Nanimma Mother’s Mother
Nannand* Husband’s elder or younger sister
Nanndoya* Husband’s elder or younger sister’s husband
Patti Husband
Pattani Wife
Sala Wife’s elder or younger brother
Sali Wife’s elder or younger sister
Sadhubhai Wife’s elder or younger sister’s husband
Sasara Spouse’s father (applicable to both husband and wife)
Sasu Spouse’s mother (applicable to both husband and wife)
Var* Husband
Vahu Daughter-in-law
Vevai Son or Daughter-in-law’s father
Vevaan Son or Daughter-in-law’s mother

* Applicable to married women only
JI – Suffix of respect when addressing the spouse’s relatives (i.e. Kakaji, Mamaji, Fuaaji)

This article originally appeared in the Federation of Sri Bardai Brahmin Samajs UK Diwali Souvenir 2002 Directory. Sri Bardai Brahmin Samaj (Leicester) UK is grateful to Mr Anantbhai J Dave from London (UK) for granting permission to reproduce it on bardaionline.

Source of Information: History of the Indians of E. A.
Anant J Dave (Founder President of Bardai Brahmin Samnaj – London)