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  1. #1
    kr subramanian is offline Member
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    Why only mama mami

    Often I have wondered to note that even though we have names like periappa/periamma chithappa chithi etc etc in relation categorization whenever we introduce our child to third person we intorduce as Mama or mami.
    Is it for convenience. or is there any other reason such as requesting indirectly the stranger to treat the childs mother as only sister (What a great foresight)
  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by kr subramanian View Post
    Often I have wondered to note that even though we have names like periappa/periamma chithappa chithi etc etc in relation categorization whenever we introduce our child to third person we intorduce as Mama or mami.
    Is it for convenience. or is there any other reason such as requesting indirectly the stranger to treat the childs mother as only sister (What a great foresight)
    Dear sir, "mama" for TBs is only தாய் மாமா. But, for the general Tamil community, one's own husband or sister's husband, whoever he may be, தாய் மாமன் or not, is "மாமா". So, what you say holds only among TB. For TNBs, calling some strange male மாமா is downright scandalous, especially if it is a grownup girl doing the calling. This amounts to the girl accepting this male as her husband. If it is a male referring the stranger as மாமா, it amounts to accepting him as the husband of his sister.

    Strange are the customs.....
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  4. #3
    G. Soundara Rajan is offline Member
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    Namassadhasae.
    Mama is such a great relation. Mother's brother is termed as Mama. Everyone will definitely be a well-wisher to his sister's family.
    A stranger when referrred as 'mama' to a child, gets the right feeling as real mama. Because Brahmins use the term 'Mama', other communities, for criticizing Brahmin culture, use this term 'Mama' with an abusive meaning. This expression, according to them, is an impotent person, who is ready to supply call girls.

    Calling husband as mama by his wife holds good, when the husband is her mama (thai mama) also. Thai vazhi sontham is a great phenomenon. Otherwise, calling for fancy this way is similar to calling as 'Anna' by one's own wife etc., which are (not correct) so personal, and beyond the scope of any discussion, I feel.
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  6. #4
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    sangom is offline Veteran
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    Quote Originally Posted by G. Soundara Rajan View Post
    Namassadhasae.
    Mama is such a great relation. Mother's brother is termed as Mama. Everyone will definitely be a well-wisher to his sister's family.
    A stranger when referrred as 'mama' to a child, gets the right feeling as real mama. Because Brahmins use the term 'Mama', other communities, for criticizing Brahmin culture, use this term 'Mama' with an abusive meaning. This expression, according to them, is an impotent person, who is ready to supply call girls.

    Calling husband as mama by his wife holds good, when the husband is her mama (thai mama) also. Thai vazhi sontham is a great phenomenon. Otherwise, calling for fancy this way is similar to calling as 'Anna' by one's own wife etc., which are (not correct) so personal, and beyond the scope of any discussion, I feel.
    I think your surmise that the stranger should be told that he should treat the child's mother as his sister is the underlying reason. But at one stage, or, period, the call-girls used to have a broker-cum-manager-cum-escort who used to be addressed as her "mama", again, to bring some respectability for his living under the same roof as that girl and her mother (usually). This gave a twist to the very connotation of the word!!

    As Shri Nara says it is only among TBs and perhaps TNBs also that this difficulty exists. Among Malayalis, the wife addresses (or used to, in the past - nowadays they call by means of செல்லப்பெயர் !) the husband as "சேட்டா" (anna) and a stranger is introduced as "அம்மாவன்" (maternal uncle); nowadays nobody uses the malayalam word, only uncle (and antie ஆன்றீ sic.)is used.
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