Disclaimer: this post is a stupid rant…but I had to take it out of my system..please feel free to skip

I call my in laws Amma Appa..and to differentiate right from the parents were called Baroda Amma, Baroda Appa and RD’s parents were called Calcutta Amma, Calcutta Appa and R just calls them Baroda and Calcutta thathas and thathis

anyways, so I call them amma appa and RD calls my parents amma appa

I thought thats how its always done..since I have seen my dad call his mother in law mummy! ( I know what a twist and all eh) and my mom called her mother in law as Amma

but I heard later on that while the wife has to call her in laws as Amma/Appa, the husband can call his in laws – mama/mami (uncle/aunty)

Yeh kahan ka insaaf hai?

I mean, you expect the wife to immediately accept the husband’s parents as her own? but the husband has a choice to call his in laws as uncle/aunty and maintain the distance?

I dont agree to it..not one bit..and trust me, I know people of my generation who do that…the wife calls her in laws amma/appa and the husband calls them mama/ mami…

Does that mean that the son in law doesnt accept his in laws as their own while the daughter in law is expected to? Is this a result of the patriachial society that we are? Is this fair on any girl? Either you call both sets amma/appa or both sets mama/mami…

When I spoke for the first time to my MIL on the phone, I called her mami..because I wasnt even engaged to RD then..but RD told me that ‘she wants you to call her amma’ which I agreed because thats what I had seen my parents do…and I felt it was pretty natural that my parents were called ‘amma/appa’ by RD…

But when I heard people getting surprised that RD was calling my parents amma/appa, I was irritated…why shouldnt he?

Well, while my practical mind says its none of my business really what who calls their in laws……no it isnt (which is why I added a disclaimer in the start) but I had to take it out of my system!


and one more thing…I know in the Tambram community and the Gujju community (not aware of the others) the mother is called ‘tu or tum/ni’ while the father is called as ‘neengal/aap’


its stupid right? I have always called both my parents ‘neengal’ because my appa insisted on that..but most of my cousins/friends all call their mothers tu/tum and their fathers aap

RD has this weird way of talking to his amma, he never calls her ‘amma ni (amma tum) he says ‘amma……and continues the sentence’ but the sentence always is spoken in tum/tu terms not in aap terms..of course lemme tell you he is otherwise extremely respectful to Cal Mom..he never is rude or anything..but this way of talking…well!

and I had a fight with him the other day because he said something me in Tamil and R also told that to me in Tamil and I told her to call me neengal instead of nee..he said its okie..she didnt use the word nee na..and I got furious…I was like so what..I should be addressed as aap (am I demanding respect instead of commanding it? I dont know!)

but somehow I will never agree to this differentiation..a mother is as important as a father..and then some people come up with this arguement that you feel closer to your mom and she is like your friend and hence you call her ‘nee’ while your dad is supposed to be treated with respect and hence ‘neengal’ sorry thats stupid and really dad is like my best friend and whatever I tell amma, I tell him..and whatever respect I have for my appa, I have for my amma..then why this differentiation?

and I dont agree to RD’s logic or way of talking by not calling his amma ‘nee’ actually but completely the sentence in terms of ‘nee’ instead of ‘neegal’

Lemme give an example (hypothetical)

RD to his mom:  Amma, varai iliya (Amma, you are coming na)
RD to his dad : Appa varel illya (Appa, you are coming na)

same translation in English but varai and varel..he has not used the word ‘nee’ for his amma…he always talks like this (God its difficult to put it down in words..but I hope the people who understand tamil who may read this post will understand what I am trying to say)…thats where the difference is..and thats what led to an arguement between him and me

again, what other children call their mothers is not my business, and I am definitely making a big issue out of, may be, nothing…but then…thats why I blog right…to take it out of the system 🙂


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91 Responses to Nee/Neengal/Amma/Appa

  1. Shruti says:

    baba tu bahut jyada sochti hai 🙂
    But ya .. i call my inlaws appa n amma too.. n my parents aayi n pappa.. & so does hubby.
    i do call my mom tu.. n dad aap.. when i talk in marathi.. but when i talk in hindi / kannada i call both of them aap.. Funny na?

    • R's Mom says:

      I know I know…now when I re-reading the sounds..exactly like I am just looking too much into things 🙂

      I do you do amma tu in Marathi and then aap in Hindi and Kannada *Confused!*

  2. A-kay says:

    Yeah – I know several families where amma is “nee” and appa is “neengal”. But I thought it was mostly in non-TamBrahm family cos almost all Tambrahms that I know (which is quite a lot since I am one 🙂 ) call both mom and dad, now wait a minute, “nee” 🙂 Quelle respect! I always used to say 2 set of folks who have no idea of how to respect others are – madrasis (as in folks belonging to Madras) and Brahmins and when the two is mixed, it is a deadly combination, which is what I am 🙂

    On the note of calling in-laws amma/appa, somehow I could never think/accept calling my in-laws as amma/appa, so neither me nor K call the other set of parents as amma/appa. My mom didn’t call her in-laws so, so did my dad and so I decided I will not do that too (and coincidentally, K was of the same opinion too). Thankfully everyone understands each other’s sentiments and peace reigns!

    • R's Mom says:

      hahaha! I loved that first para..hilarious…no I know of lot of Tam brams who call amma as nee and appa as neengal..but again..lots of them call both nee as well

      Seee..thats what…both of you are equal right in the whole thing…what bugged me (now I think its stupid after I re-read the post I wrote) was when one was expected to call as amma appa and the other as uncle aunty!

      I think this post is very childish..but again, its out of my system now 🙂

  3. Scribby says:

    bang on for the second point! A mother is called ‘tu’ and the father ‘tumhi’ in Marathi also as if the mother deserves less respect or by saying ‘tu’ the father’s pride will degrade! Though I was taught the same and me and brother calls mother ‘tu’ and father ‘tumhi’ …but since I started understanding and felt stupid about this differentiation I decided my children will not do it,period!

    You know while talking to chirpy I always say ‘toh paha baba aala‘ {which in proper Marathi terms it should be like te paha baba aale} to which sometimes my MIL gives me that ‘I’m not approving of this’ look but I plain and simple ignore…then I decided to ask why it is not right and why a mother is not to be called ‘aap’ or ‘tumhi’ too to which the ‘tradition stricken’ elders on both side of the family had no reasoning at all other than saying ‘it’s been said since decades…’

    I pity such tradition blind people sometimes and mind you these include my set of family too in some matters…just that my parents are liberated in the sense they don’t thopofy their beliefs on us,they just inform us what should be done or not but leave us to pick what we want to!

    And about calling wife’s parents uncle/aunty have heard about it but have never met such husband yet but I know what you mean! What we do between us to add the names of parents to the AAI and BABA like his mother is called M-AAI and my mother as S-AAI…

    Moreover to avoid the confusion on chirpy’s end,since in Marathi both parental and maternal grandmothers are called aaji and grandfather ajoba-we’ve are teaching her to call husby’s mother as dadi-aaji and my mother as nani-aaji and dada-ajja and nana-ajja 🙂

    hush! subah subah itna lamba comment 😉 I hope you’re not bored!

  4. summerscript says:

    Totally agree to both the points.
    I don’t like to call mama/mami. Amma Appa feels more closer and I expect it from both sides.
    In my family including all my cousins , its either ni va po for both amma and appa or neenga , vanga, ponga again for both amma and appa.

    • R's Mom says:

      Thats what..its the same for both set of parents..whether nee or neengal doesnt matter na..

      you know SS, now that I am reading the post, seriously I think its very immature 😦

  5. Okay.. The first part is true at my place too. I call my inlaws as Appa and Amma and my husband calls my parents as Mama-mami. Whatever the names are, as far as my place is concerned, my husband is more attached to my parents than I am to his! That said, I feel Amma and Appa can never be substituted by anyone else ever and so it makes sense to call in-laws (irrespective of the husbands or wifes’) as mama and mami!

    The second part is true in the CH’s house but at mine, I call both my parents as ‘nee’. I even address my paternal grandmother as ‘nee’, probably because she stayed with us for a long time and we are more closer. I am not sure if it is lack of respect because I respect and love my parents more than anyone else in the world!

    • R's Mom says:

      AFter reading your comment, I am all the more convinced, that I am creating a mountain out of a molehill..I mean does it really matter…this is one post, I think I will just make private or delete 🙂 call both your parents nee….there is differentiation na…thats what I wanted to say 🙂

  6. VJ says:

    I am not sure if its about tambram culture.(cant speak for Gujjus)
    I address both my amma and appa as nee. My husband addresses both his parents as neengal.
    and I have seen mixture of neengal and nee.. so I guess it differs from house to house…than a community itself.
    I accept your point.. either address both as nee or both as neengal.. I would hate to call one parent nee and other neengal.
    and I am totally with you on calling your inlaws amma and appa.. but it needs to hold good for both the husband and wife.Otherwise it is just too unfair.

  7. RS says:

    Hey! I agree with you. I see a lot of kids too who call their mom in singular and address their Dads in plural. In both Hubby’s case and mine-we call both our parents in singular when we talk TO Them and speak in plural (woh) when we are talking ABOUT them. So no issues there. Chutku is somehow learning both-he sometimes calls both of us as ‘aap’ or as ‘tum’ – never a ‘tu’ as we dont do it with either set of parents.
    For calling the in-laws appa-amma – I tell you its all again by the society. In my (hubby’s) family we have DILs who call their in-laws as atthe/Maava or Uncle.Aunty – I call my in-laws as Appa/Amma because I *wanted* to not because they said anything. Infact they had no opinion about it at all they are all more or less- call what ever you want… Hubby’s is a different case-He’s still unable to decide what he wants to call my parents- certainly not uncle/aunty and apa/amma is also not very easy to come by as he doesnt know what his dad addresses his in-laws as!! Whatever… and nobody minds it because no matter which set of parents it is-the way he speaks is always very respectful and always with an ‘aap’…

    • R's Mom says:

      I was into this habit of calling everyone ‘tu’ RS, till RD one day told me that you cant just go around calling random people ‘tu’ its not polite…and that too only after I came to Bombay…I got carried away by the Bombay way of speaking I think…of course ‘tu’ was only to people of my age or younger to me..but RD did tell me that many people may not like it..and then of course R was born and now I am usually very careful..its either ‘tum’ or ‘aap’ even to people younger to me…

  8. Seema says:

    Lemme just write my experience in all the situations you quoted:

    My mother tongue is Konkani. This language is in the lines of English. Tu/tum/aap all translate to ‘you’ right? Similarly, in Konkani – we used to address parents, grandparents and elders as ‘tu’.

    I got married into a Bengali family, so again no fuss about what to call in-laws?. Mom dad – Amma and Anna (in Konkani) and MIL and FIL – Ma and Baba (In Bengali)

    Now about how kids should be addressing me or Abbas. In Bengalis, I have seen they address both parents as ‘Tumi’. So I guess that’s fine with me. About RD’s logic, I don’t find any problem in him speaking to his mom in terms of ‘nee’ but like you said it has to be uniform then for both parents. It’s unfair to address mom and dad differently.

  9. Ashwathy says:

    You can illustrate this easier in Hindi for others to understand.
    One might address amma as “idhar aa or idhar aao” and to appa as “yahan aayiye”. Right? 🙂 WIthout literally pronouncing tu or tum or aap. It’s the grammar that follows which coincides with tu tum aap, right?

    And yes this addressing ma as ‘tu’ I’ve heard in hindi movies while growing up in South India. And this concept is entirely alien to me. Why is amma called ‘nee’. Don’t tell me all that cock-and-bull nonsense about amma being a friend and appa being distant. They both deserve to be called ‘aap’. They are parents. One unit. Period. 😡

    And in my family including my own case we call both sets of in-laws amma and achan (and I’ve seen my parents follow the same example, no differentiation). I have a cousin who calls his wife’s parents as mama/mami (or its equivalent in malayalam) but then his wife also calls the same to his parents, so I think it’s even over there.

    What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. But as usual, society has a lot of hypocrisy and double standards with regards to gender. These are just two of the examples.

  10. Smita says:

    Half of this post went over my head!!! And theotehr half made me thank that my mother tongue is Hindi and there is no discrimination as per ‘sex’. In fact in U.P. Tum, tu, tera etc are considered to be insulting and that is why I cringe when I see them being used lavishly in Mumbai.

    All I will say is chill!!! SUbah-2 itna guaa theek nahin 🙂

  11. DI says:

    Ooh same here, it is nee/tum for mom, and neenga/aap for dad! But I guess I am too close to mom to call her aap! I used to say tum to The Dude initially, and he made me change it to tu!
    Oh, and neither of us call each other’s parents amma /appa, its actually aunty/uncle , so full insaaf there! 😀

    • R's Mom says:

      hahahah 🙂 total insaaf eh?

      but you know DI, I call RD as ‘tu’ I never called him ‘aap’ I know of lot of girls who call their husbands aap..somehow, I never went into that mode…and then I wrote ‘ I think this post is just too childish’ I am going to delete/make it private I think!

    • Pepper says:

      Ayyo DI! What logic is this? I am *super* close to my mom and I still call her “Aap”. I might even be rude to her and jokingly swear while talking to her, but it is still done with an “aap” in it :D. I call both mom and dad “aap”. It was what I was taught from childhood. So it’s just what we were conditioned to. I really don’t think it isn’t an indication of your level of closeness.

    • Swaram says:

      Whoa! Someone like us now 😛
      Su and me call the other set of parents aunty/uncle too! Mainly bcoz we had been calling them so for years before we got married and so it just continues 😀 And either of them hv no problem with it 😀

  12. The wonly simple rule I follow is “always use aap when addressing elders of any sex, size or shape” 😛

  13. Swarna says:

    Hey R’s mom, I think all Indian ladies will have these thoughts. At least our generation 🙂
    In Karnataka , there are some communities (like Havyaka Brahmins) who address both parents in singulars, they speak to them as they speak to their friends. I like it .
    But in most parts, it’s singular for Amma and the other way round for Appa.
    May be it’s because, mothers need more affection and fathers command respect, mother also commands respect but she is happy to be addressed in singulars :). It’s entirely their choice.
    My husband is not comfortable to be addressed in singulars by my son. But I prefer my son to speak to me in singulars only (My FIL says I should not let him do that, but I am happy to be addressed as ‘tu’ than ‘aap’ 🙂 )
    Your thoughts here are very much valid, do keep writing what ever you think, it’s absolutely fine 🙂
    By the way I don’t address my in laws as Amma , Appa. MIL insisted that I call her Amma but some how I was not / am not comfortable doing so

    • R's Mom says:

      Oh so your so calls you ‘tum’ and your husband ‘aap’ like I wrote, the more comments I am reading, the more I am feeling that my view is very one sided….

  14. Swarna says:

    If I can add to the comment, the same holds good for husband also. He addresses wife in singulars but wife has to address him in plurals ONLY :).
    I speak to my husband as ‘tu’, my FIL objected to it couple of times and then gave up 🙂

  15. anna's mom says:

    both of us call our parents mummy-papa and same for each others parents. i have never heard the funda of calling the wife’s parents uncle-aunty. i used to call my mil aunty till the day we were married and she never objected.
    i call my mom tum and dad aap, which is something i also think about a lot. i would change it if possible, but now it’s too late to break the habit and frankly it doesn’t matter that much to me. i respect my mom as much as my dad irrespective of whether i call her aap or tum. but i would still like it better if i called her aap. we have two different words for a reason and though you can always say that how you feel matters and not what you say, words do make a difference.
    so when anna is old enough i will make sure that she calls us both aap. and i think with kids you have to demand respect before they are old enough to respect you for what you are. i may be old fashioned, but kids calling their parents by name (though anna does that now sometimes and we tell her not to), telling their parents that they are stupid and don’t know anything etc etc makes me mad. it does not show how cool the parents are and how they are like friends to their kids. it just shows that the kids are spoilt brats who need to be disciplined.

    • R's Mom says:

      But Anna’s mom, after I read the post again, I do feel that I perhaps am over reacting…How you feel matters na…of course words are important, but at the end of the day, coming from you who calls her amma as tum and appa as aap, there is difference in your love or respect for them right?

      I for some weird reason, loved that logic that with kids you have to demand respect before they are old enough to respect you for what they are…

      RD and I started calling each other ‘amma’ appa’ after R started calling us by names to avoid the whole usage of calling your parents by name…

  16. RS says:

    I understand when you cannot stand the inequality.. Happens with me as well. Later I feel it is a minor issue, but at that point inequality is inequality.
    Your post reminded me of my hindi sir who used to say a proverb in Hindi..something in the lines of ‘Maa’ aur ‘Bhagwaan’ are the only ones we call as ‘tu’. Unfortunately dont remember the proverb at all.
    I realized this concept for the first time when he said the proverb..because I hv always called my mom and dad ‘aap’ daughter does the same with us. Son is young for grammar and he shuffles between ‘tum’ and ‘aap’ but i hope he will graduate to ‘aap’ later. my husband calls both parents as ‘tu’ but i stick to ‘aap’ there as well.

    • R's Mom says:

      Well, at least you have the same usage for both parents na…thats where the difference is…and your son must be young na..thats why the sure he will follow his sister’s footsteps 🙂

  17. Smitha says:

    I so agree! I have seen this differentiation too, in the way in-laws and parents are called, and find it extremely annoying. In our case, I call my in-laws mummy-papa, and husband calls my parents Achan-amma. I can’t understand how people can call their wife’s parents uncle-aunty. Clearly it is accepted because it is ‘alright’ for a man to not be close to his spouse’s family.

    As for calling mothers using ‘nee’ , this is the first I have heard of it! You are right in demanding the right form from R, why should she grow up thinking that a father should be respectef more, even if it is just verbally?

  18. Vidya says:

    Arre yaar, tu itna sochti kyon hai!! I used to address my mom/dad as nee, vasu does nee to both his parents, my kids do that to both of us:) i’d like to think respect is more from the heart… hope you understand am saying this to justify my stance;)

  19. The Bride says:

    You are not being immature or overreacting. It is important. I did not realise that in some Indian traditions husbands were allowed to get away with calling their Mil and Dil, aunty/uncle while the wives had to switch to amma/appa but why am I not surprised? It is just another symbol of the idea that women are supposed to blend into the husband’s family but not vice versa. Of course, we should object.

    I personally do not believe it is possible to call anyone else mummy/daddy and mean it and so I refuse to do it. My Mil the week I got married said “you should call me mummy”, my Sil jumped in and said “what nonsense, how can you force her” and I just smiled. I call my Mil “aunty” but generally I avoid calling her anything at all; it’s a bit awkward honestly. However, my husband and I both decided we did not feel comfortable calling each other’s parents any form of mummy/daddy and we both use aunty/uncle.

    Regarding the mum being “tu”, dad “aap” thing, I remember us objecting to this when it came up in our Hindi/Marathi tuitions as children and we were given the same logic – you are are closer to your mum, which at the time was not true because I was closer to my dad. My tuition teacher then said even God is referred to as “tu” – is this true? – which made even less sense to me. While these words might have once accurately described the relationships concerned, today, we would hope that children have an equally close and respectful relationship with both parents so whether tu or aap, it should be the same word.

    • R's Mom says:

      I are like a friend of mine who says that I cant think of calling anyone else mummy/papa except my own..her in laws are darlings but somehow she is never able to call them mummy/papa 🙂 and of course they are okie with that

      Yaa…I think God is referred as ‘tu’ at least in some devotional songs I know of..

      At the end of the day, its all about respect na..what you call shouldnt really be an issue (Except when I was upset enough to write the post :))

  20. Sumana says:

    Rm, looks like you got pretty worked up. But as long as you feel god getting out of your system all is good. I do call both sets of parents as appa and amma. But i address my parents as nee and inlaws as neengal similar translation in kannada.

  21. Zephyr says:

    Ahem, can a senior citizen air her views here?
    The reason why the custom of calling the girl’s in-laws as amma and appa came about aeons ago when there were child marriages and the children needed to feel at home. While the girl went to the boy’s house after marriage, the boy only visited the latter’s house. So the girl ‘adopted’ the boy’s as her own and only she called them appa-appa. ok?

    As for addressing mother as nee-tum-tu, it is just like the teacher in RS’s comment said. When we are very close to someone, we call them as tum/nee/tu etc. So with mother. This again is a custom of the past when children were scared of the father and addressed him respectfully and feel free with mother so called her as nee/tum/tu. Ok? And as for addressing one’s husband as aap/neengal, the same logic applies. when girls were married off very young, the boys were usually much older and so commanded respect for age.

    In today’s world, everyone does what one feels right and educated families have no problems with anything. My DIL talks to my son adding ‘da’ even and we are ok with it. I myself address the L&M as nee/tum much to the horror of older (very old to you youngsters) relatives and conservative neighbours.

    I find it highly amusing when everyone ‘aaps’ everyone else and do it for the sake of it without a bit of respect for the person, but I find it objectionable when people address old servants, maids and other labourers as tu. I always address them as aap. They deserve respect too.

    Finally, when a girl calls her mother as nee and MIL as aap, don’t we all know whom she respects more? 😀

    What is there in the form of address? Chill girls!

    • R's Mom says:

      OF course you can Z…you are cooler than most of us here 🙂

      okie…I get that logic of calling amma/appa..but no more child marriages now na…Dont you think we should change with times?

      and about calling the hubby da as your daughter in law does..errr..even I do that 🙂

      oh my mother calls my dad by name and calls him nee..when RD came to our house for the first time, he was shocked to hear it….now he thinks thats the right way to a relationship 🙂 even my mom faced a lot of flake including from her mother, for calling her husband as nee

      Second last para – you are going to be hit for that heheheheh 🙂

      Yes Z, chilled enough now..thank you for the wonderful comment 🙂

  22. Gayu says:

    Its very difficult for a girl to address her in-laws as “Amma and Appa”. isn’t it weird. I mean how come you can call someone as “Amma and Appaa” before even staying with them and before knowing them. And as you said, even I’ve seen many people calling their mothers “tu” or “nee” and addressing their dad’s as “aap” and “neegal”.

    My daughter calls both of us “aap” when she speaks in Hindi, when it’s Marathi she is comforthable with “tu” than “tumhi”. When its Tamil…err…she is just learning tamil…so she just says “Amma”.
    I agree with you…that MOM’s need to be respected… and I woud be happy to see children addressing their mom as “aap”.

    BTW how are you….long time ….I am not much comfortable with WordPress…and sometimes I am unable to post comments here.

    Take care dear

    • R's Mom says:

      Hey Gayu..long time..hope things are fine with you..arey WP is easier to use I thought 🙂

      She is just learning tamil so just says ‘amma’ – Sweet 🙂

      • Gayu says:

        It’s easier, when I am at home, but from office it becomes quite difficult…:)
        Ya the lil one is learning tamil, she just knows few words…but tries to make sentences.
        How are u??? and howz life da. I’ve written one post for your other blog, shall I send that to you, do i need to register first???

        Do tell me.
        Take care
        Hugs to R..and Muahhhhhhhhh

  23. garima says:

    I agree with you RM even girls parents deserve equal respect and I pitty people who do not believe this.But in some caste (as you said in tambham) I guess its more about practice than any kind of disrespect that make girls parents be called uncle and aunty.
    But what ever it is its not appreciable to create such differences.
    And yes mom and dad both needs to refered to as ‘aap’,there is definitely no escape to it.

    • R's Mom says: when I am reading all the comments, I guess in most cases its more out of the same thing being done for generations..than out of disrespect or anything..I agree 🙂

  24. While i got married for close to half a year i called my MIL aunty and got all the weird stares from everyone – but i just didn’t want to call her mummy for the sake of it…Finally i changed it to mummy because i felt odd calling her mummy in front of others 😛

    My husband on the other hand doesn;t call my mom anything – he shies away from using any name and we have a great time ragging him about it….But i dont doubt his affection for my mom…so i am just going to say – What’s in a name??

    • R's Mom says:

      hahaha! Nuttie you are cute..why would you bother so much about others if she was okie with it 🙂

      and your hubby is even sweeter 🙂 my mom does it often you know, when she doesnt know what to call the other the conversation is like ‘errr…ahem…excuse me…hahaha:) its cute

  25. Bikram says:

    Chilllax madam ji, stop thinking so much and taking so much tension 🙂
    end of the day if you are talking Respectfully that is more important or no 🙂

  26. Tanishka says:

    My dad to calls my nani as ‘mummy’ and even my mom adresses my dada dadi as daddy mummy and I think that’s how it should be… Both set of parents should be given the same amount of respect and love…

    I’am not a tamil but i get your point and I agree with you… There should be equal respect for both mom and dad…

    • R's Mom says:

      As long as both the parents are being called the same, I guess it doesnt matter..but again Tan when I am re-reading the post, it seems a bit crazy 🙂

  27. kobitha says:

    I am Srilankan Tamil, we considered “Nee” as very disrespectful word. We use “Neenga” even with children. Thanks god, i don’t see any discriminaino as to woman to men regard to addressing them. We call our parents Amma and Appa (some older generation call their dad Appu) and in laws Mama and Mami. There is nobody i know call their in laws as Amma and Appa in Sri Lanka.

    • R's Mom says:

      Hey Kobitha, welcome here 🙂

      Thanks for the insight on the Sri Lankan culture, I had no clue 🙂

      and even in the north of India, most people call their children also ‘aap’ which means ‘neenga’

  28. Sangitha says:

    No discrimination and equal (dis)respect is my policy. Call inlaws just like husband does and give both ‘neevu’ (neenga). Husband calls my parents what I do. I give no respect (both nee – they made sure of it, it is definitely more from affection and makes the relationship less formal to us all) and husband gives them the ‘neengal’ treatment, even if they drink together. Different languages means mostly english and ‘you’ works very well.

    MIL prefers me to call husband ‘neevu’ and since we all know what levels of respect we feel for each other and how representative it is (not) of our real lives, I do some balancing acts to ensure I am not openly rebutting her and calling him ‘donkey’….she can’t even take a joke on this, I only feel like calling him this around her.

    • R's Mom says:

      husband gives them the ‘neengal’ treatment, even if they drink together – Hahahaha! same case in the R household..RD drinks with dad and asks him ‘Appa, ,neenga one more take panavaela’ hehehe 🙂

      Yaa..even my MIL Was a bit shocked that I call RD as ‘tu’ but I guess its just better to be transparent 🙂

      LOL on calling him ‘donkey’ cute eh?

  29. AT says:

    I know I always feel better after getting it out of my system.. I hope that’s the case with you too…

    I agree it is completely illogical to expect DIL to accept other family from day 1 but not from men….
    or simply leave it on the girl and boy to decide what they should call each others parents…

  30. Suba says:

    RM actually… they say the bride changes to her husband’s gothram and hence can call his parents amma and appa..but the guy on the other hand belongs to a diff gothram and hence has to call mama/mami and not appa/amma. Even I hate this but its the same at my place too.. My hubby says dont worry abt what I call them..they will always be my parents too..:)

    As for nee/neengal I call both my parents neengal only and encourage my son also to do the same..but yes I have heard this nee for mom and neengal for dad usage..its very common


    • R's Mom says:

      oh dont even start me on the gothram thing…its another big rant you will see me coming up with 🙂

      See…you say the same for both the parents na..thats what I was talking about

  31. This gets me too. I’m like your friend I guess – I won’t call anyone else appa and mee. In addition, I would also be mighty pissed off if anyone else called my parents that. I had a cousin who has to call my dad “chithappa” and she switched to “appa” for some reason and I was walking around for days with M-u-r-d-e-r spelled on my forehead 😐

    I also have this Nee habit with mom and Neengal with dad. The weird thing is, all my school life, i stuck to neengal with both of them, I dont know why it changed. and the funny thing is im closer to dad than i am with mom.. so no logical explanation, but im going to think abt. this one.

    I call my in-laws aunty/uncle. Vijesh started calling my parents aunty-uncle, but one day he asked my mom if she was fine with it or if she’d prefer the athai/mama – and the fellow now uses the athai/mama terms for his in-laws, while im still sticking to aunty-uncle. For me, it is a lot less formal and slightly nicer too – we call our friends’ parents that way too, no? My in-laws are cool with anything. I was under the assumption that they would not like me calling Vijesh nee/vaa/po/pig, but i have tested nee/vaa/po in their presence and they dont seem to care. im yet to test the “pig” in front of them 😉

    but like bride said, this is something you have to be pissed off about I think. i mean, we arent exactly commodities to be transferred, while the men are beloved property of their parents or something.

    • R's Mom says:

      LOL on the murderous kolaveri and all that (Hey I got the usage right na?)

      Err…forget the logical explanation..its okie…as long as mother doesnt spank you for that 🙂

      Athai/mama..thats cute 🙂 Iam so tempted to try the ‘pig’ with RD…no..actually no…I shouldnt go that far I guess 🙂

  32. Pingback: Tag Time – Phew!!! | R's Mom

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