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Other address forms.

The forms discussed below are used differently from situation to situation, family to family, dialect area to dialect area. The categories discussed below are to give some insight into the general use of these suffixes, rather than to legislate usage. Essentially they are kinship terms but may be used with non-kin or `fictive kin', i.e. Tamils (and Indians in general) prefer social relationships that are kin-like, since the expectations of kin relationships are known. Indians therefore often try to fit everyone into a kind of kinship system, addressing fictive kin as if they were kin. When foreigners are included in this system, they are also included into the expectations pertaining to kin, i.e. sharing property, money, food, etc., accepting advice about one's life, marriage prospects, sexual behavior, etc.

Vasu Renganathan
Sat Nov 2 21:16:08 EST 1996