Do JW Children Still Call Adults "Aunt" and "Uncle"?

by cofty 32 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • snare&racket

    Always found this weird and now I think back it seems EVEN WIERDER.

    The most embarassing part was trying to figure out when you were old enough to not say it anymore and likewise weird that some that were old or with status were still called it even by some adults...

    The whole thing was bizzare and dangerous...... The reality is these people are strangers that happen to pray and worship WT in the same building.

  • Phizzy

    It was, and is, common amongst Brit JW's. A few days ago I was given a hug by a JW lady some thirty years my junior, I have known her from her birth, and she said "Hi Uncle ......." we are not related, even by faith LOL

    I have also experienced it here in England from non JW's.

    What worries me slightly is that its use imbues the individual with a seeming trustworthiness, which may endanger the vulnerable perhaps ? The so-called "Uncle" may not be so truly avuncular.

  • cofty

    Thanks for all your replies.

    It was certainly the done thing in Scotland. I am surprised to hear it wasn't universal.

    It came up in a YouTube conversation about child abuse in the Watchtower. My point was that they create an atmosphere of total trust between children and adults, and then betray those children when abusers take advantage of it.

  • cantleave
    As I read this post and a shudder ran through my spine. Even when I was an adult I still referred to some of the older brothers and sisters from my childhood as "aunt" and "uncle".
  • ShirleyW

    Never heard of this custom in NYC I area, I agree with what Giordano said, it was also Bro. or Sis. and Aunt and Uncle was for closed friend of your parents.

  • NewYork44M
    I never saw this practice in the U.S. kingdom halls I attended. The practice is common in some cultures. We have some friends where I am known as uncle NY. I think they make the kids use the uncle because just using my first name would be considered disrespectful.
  • blondie

    Not in the Midwest US where I live now. But in Germany where I grew up, we did call adults Tante (aunt) and Onkel (uncle).

    It depends on the culture you live in.

  • Oubliette

    I'm a white boy in the southwest US. I never heard anyone in my neighborhood or among my schoolmates call a person their aunt or uncle unless that person really was their aunt or uncle.

    I did sometimes hear it among black (aka African-American) JWs, but that was the only place.

  • Slidin Fast
    Slidin Fast

    I like it. i too am a Brit and it is still widely used in and out of the congregation. It is a term of friendly respect for adults you know well but who are not always relatives. It's less formal than Mr or Mrs, Bro or Sis and more respectful than using their first names.

    I personally find the American practice of referring to your dad as 'Sir' very stange and formal.

  • cookiemaster
    Wow, this seems extremely peculiar to me. Somehow, in my entire life, I never managed to hear about this practice. I grew up in Transylvania, a region of Romania, and here nobody calls somebody unrelated to them aunt or uncle. As JW children we simply called other JW adults brother or sister. In the case of old JW's, out of respect we called them Mr. or Mrs.

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