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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Those Freaky Russians

N’s relatives keep sending money for Klara. Honestly, I’d much rather they sent an actual gift, or even just a card. I’d like to be able to show her a physical object and say, “This is a gift from grandma / aunt. They love you.” For instance, my parents sent her a talking doll called Masha and a raincoat for her birthday, and now whenever I give her the doll to play or put the raincoat on her, I tell her that this is a gift from grandpa and grandma who love her and can’t wait to see her again. We go through the house and I keep pointing things out to her, “This is a gift from your aunt Graciela, this is a gift from your aunt Regina, this is a gift from uncle Olivier*, they love you.” What am I supposed to do with a money gift? Show her a wad of bills?

Of course, I can buy her a gift with the money but it’s not the same thing. I buy things for her all the time anyway. I’d like to have something they personally picked out for her, even something tiny and cheap.

*We are like people in India: every friendly adult is uncle or auntie.

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5 thoughts on “Those Freaky Russians

  1. Ghanaians do the uncle and aunt thing too.

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  2. Spiderbaby on said:

    Maybe they don’t know what to buy, what Klara would like or need, and prefer to send money so she doesn’t get an ugly or useless present. Of course, Klara is so young she can’t possibly be too picky… but I’ve discovered, by observing my cousins’ children, that even small kids have their tastes and preferences 🙂
    Perhaps N could give some suggestions to his relatives 🙂

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    • “Perhaps N could give some suggestions to his relatives”

      • Another little problem is that they don’t speak to each other. At all. We just get these money gifts after months of silence. And then there’s more silence.

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  3. Stringer Bell on said:

    “We are like people in India: every friendly adult is uncle or auntie.”

    It is the most devastating moment in one’s life when kids start calling you ‘uncle’ instead of bhayiya (big brother).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes. I’m glad I emigrated before I could be called “Aunt Clarissa.” And also before people in the street started addressing me as “woman” [zhenshina] and not as “young woman” [devushka]. (It’s normal to address strangers like this.

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