The tale of a brother & a sister


Many Asians have a habit of calling unrelated people as brother or sister, either out of habit or respect. In South India (Tamil and Telugu), the term for an elder brother is anna and elder sister is akka.

Shanti is from South India.

She moved abroad for higher studies.

She is the only Indian in her group.

She still cannot get herself to call her peers by name.

She calls them akka and anna.

She called a guy anna.

He told her ‘Anna’ is a female name!

She cannot call him like that.

Then she called a lady akka.

The lady pointed out that Shanti her mispronounced her name!

Her name was Anna not ‘akka’.

Shanti spent 10 minutes clearing the confusion.

Her lab mates were amused.

She now lives traumatized because she cannot call her peers anna or akka 🙂

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