My Loopy Family! #ThrowbackThursday

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You know about my immediate family, parents, siblings, Hubby Dearest, children and my in-laws, but I have yet to introduce my full on family!
I come from a pretty run of the mill Indian family, where the extended family is as much a part of your life as your nuclear family.
Our background is that my ancestors moved from India way back in the day, and settled in Kenya, in East Africa. Both my parents were born there, and after marriage moved here to the UK where my brother and I were born.
Mum’s side was mostly in Kenya, and at a later date, some moved to Australia, but we grew up together, even though we were in different countries. Through letters and visits yearly, my cousins and I forged a great bond. Being similar ages, we gelled perfectly, and enjoyed many summers together in Kenya. My two uncles and their wife’s, my aunts, as well,as my grand parents, doted on my brother and me. I was the oldest grandchild this side, and felt a great responsibility to be a good example.
Pretty simple family, 3 cousins there, all similar to us, we got on great!
Then we turn to my Pops family… Now I hasten to add, there is NOTHING wrong with my dads side, there are just a heck of a lot of them!!
I always knew from the beginning , that my dad had a brother, who had 5 kids. They lived back in Kenya, and were older than us, the youngest being 5 years older than me. On this side, I was the youngest grand daughter. We would go every summer and share our time with both sides of the family, forging bonds.
One year at school, I was asked to make a family tree. We drew my mum’s side and as I drew dad’s he looked at it, and looked at me, confused. “What about my sisters? Your aunts?” Huh? Somehow, even though I knew those people very well, and called them ‘Bhuaji’ which means father’s sister, it hadn’t clicked that they were actually my Pops sisters!
You see, in Indian culture it is the norm to address any elder as aunt or uncle, or grandma and grandad, it’s a sign of respect.
Suddenly, as he drew my real family tree, requesting extra sheets of paper, as there was not enough space, my mind was opened up to a whole new dimension of family! I went from having a perfectly respectable 7 first cousins (another on my mum’s side arrived after this event!) to 29!!!!!!! “What the..!?!?!” As Lil Man would say! So Pops actually had 1 brother and 4 sisters, and a surrogate sister, who was so close to Pops, that we need to count her too. (And she had a further 8 kids, so, theoretically you could say my first cousin count was actually, 37!!)
He was the youngest too, which opened up another revelation to me. He had been born after his eldest sister had already married and borne 2 children! This means that many of my first cousins were my fathers age, and married with their own kids when my dad married, and had us!
So, again, culturally, we don’t do all this second, third cousins, let alone the once or twice removed malarkey! If your aunt or uncle has a child they are your cousins, yes, but you address them as brother or sister. Hence when they have kids you now have nephews and nieces. This meant that I was born an aunty to several children already, and over the years, as you can imagine, to many more…scarier still, as they got married and had kids, my qualification increased again… No, no great aunts and uncles here, straight to grand ma status! Yes seriously!!
In fact, if you go a layer further in my family, I was even a great grandma! (Lovingly called GGM and since… there has been more babies and I am now a GGGM!)
I always remember going on a family jolly to Blackpool for the day, and my 40 year old ahem, grandson, with can of beer in hand, stopped the traffic, saying his grandma needs to cross the road. And sauntering along came…me!!
Yes, a colourful bunch we are here! Weddings and functions galore, and where there are people and weddings there would be reproduction, so the family just got bigger and bigger! And crazier and crazier too! We are a bit of a mad bunch, our family get togethers, though few and far between nowadays, are always most memorable, with singing and dancing, and great food!
Alongside the joys of a big family, there are equally that many more people to say goodbye too as well. Sadly, death has played a part in our lives from an early age, but we have learned to accept death for what it is, and though we always feel great sorrow when someone dies, we accept it as God’s will.

Getting married was just going to increase the numbers, wasn’t it? But Hubby Dearest’s family was a little more controlled with a grand total of 6 first cousins, all born close enough to each other so you don’t have the ‘interesting’ mishmash of relationships my side has! I had to start tutoring Hubby Dearest when we were dating, if he had any hope
of understanding our family tree by the time we were to get married!
But, as I said we are a crazy bunch, any excuse for a party, fancy dress, music, dancing. And not all Indian families are like that… He flatly told me before the wedding, and subsequently, before every function we go to, “Ritu, I am NOT dressing up, ok!!”
That’s ok I guess, there are enough loons without adding another one, though secretly when he is there, you can see him loosening up, and enjoying himself! One day…. One day, I’ll get him fully involved!

So there you have it. A potted history of my little but large family!

52 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. susieshy45
    Jul 09, 2017 @ 02:50:29

    Loved this post of so much love and togetherness. I hope as the years go by, you all get to meet each other more and get closer.
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. New Journey
    Jul 08, 2017 @ 22:13:43

    Great family tree…I have been working on a time line and tree for our family….I have gotten back to Scotland and Austria on my mums side and my father is Ireland the eastern side of the states, now I need to go count my cousins…LOL wish I would of stayed closer to my cousins, I did try but it takes wanting from there sides as well…really enjoyed reading about yours….xx

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Cloud Walker
    Jul 07, 2017 @ 01:12:05

    Wow! You sure we’re not related?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. hotmessmemoir
    Jul 07, 2017 @ 00:01:49

    Damn girl! At some point I think I would ask the stork if I could return a few but I’m referring to my family if my family were that huge. I wouldn’t be able to take it. Everyone in my business!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Jul 07, 2017 @ 06:47:55

      I just thank God, that my own little family is contained lol! But when we have a get together it is fun, but can be explosive too! (There are definitely a few I’d like to send back though!)
      I don;t even really know all of my cousins!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  5. josypheen
    Jul 06, 2017 @ 17:53:52

    Ritu, this is amaaaaazing! You are so lucky to have such a huge, friendly family! How on earth do you keep track of everyone’s birthdays? You must be the queen of organisation!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. Mr. Militant Negro
    Jul 06, 2017 @ 16:10:04

    Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  7. Corina
    Jul 06, 2017 @ 14:54:42

    I think large families are a blessing and find it wonderful that you are able to grow up knowing so many cousins.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  8. Tikeetha T
    Jul 06, 2017 @ 14:29:42

    I would have died being called grandma. OMG! It’s cool though to have a big family.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  9. Jennifer
    Jul 06, 2017 @ 13:14:13

    I come from a large family as well. My mother had three brothers and two sisters. Two of the brothers lived on the same street with their families and we lived on the other side of town on the same street as my Aunt and her family. My mother had 5 children and there is a 20-year difference between the oldest and me as the youngest. I have a niece that is older than me and a nephew that is almost the same age. (My sister was pregnant at the same time that her mother was pregnant.) We all grew up together and all holiday parties were held between our house and my Aunt’s house. We all went to school with each other and many cousins were best friends with each other.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  10. Cheila
    Jul 06, 2017 @ 09:08:04

    Wow that must be amazing. You don’t even have the chance to feel alone 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  11. foodzesty
    Jul 06, 2017 @ 07:09:00

    Nice big happy family :). I was surprised to read that in the Indian culture you call the elders aunts and uncles out of respect, because the same thing is done in the Greek culture. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  12. pranabaxom
    Jul 06, 2017 @ 06:07:56

    I can empathize with this.
    Don’t show this to Theresa May and Boring Johnson😊

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  13. chris jensen
    Jul 06, 2017 @ 05:50:25

    Wow!

    Why is it, mom or grandma, whom run the house hold, all why father remain obedient, kind an loving?

    i could be sticking my foot into my mouth, on this question!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  14. chris jensen
    Jul 06, 2017 @ 05:48:11

    Reblogged this on crjen1958.

    Like

    Reply

  15. Kayse Creative
    Jan 29, 2015 @ 08:20:19

    Reblogged this on Kayse Creative and commented:
    What about you?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  16. ashokbhatia
    Jan 26, 2015 @ 08:03:27

    Quite a confession!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  17. theoldfellowgoesrunning
    Jan 25, 2015 @ 22:43:18

    This is really interesting stuff Ritu. Love reading about cultures, and what you can learn about your fellow bloggers. A “great grandma”? Hard to get my mind around that one;)
    Thanks for sharing! 🙂
    ~Carl~

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  18. georgiakevin
    Jan 25, 2015 @ 22:20:28

    What a delightful family you are a part of. Your writing is so well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  19. marilynmunrow
    Jan 25, 2015 @ 22:17:15

    We have lots in common then Ritu ? I love your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  20. Ritu
    Jan 25, 2015 @ 22:12:20

    Thanks!! So yours is as LOOPY as mine too!!?? Love a loopy family!!

    Like

    Reply

  21. marilynmunrow
    Jan 25, 2015 @ 22:07:22

    Reblogged this on Marilyn Munrow and commented:
    hahahaha so your family is like mine?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  22. weggieboy
    Jan 25, 2015 @ 21:52:50

    Whew!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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