Wednesday, February 10, 2010

我是妹妹, 我是姐姐

In a lot of Asian languages (I know Korean and Chinese for sure), there are different words from older sister, younger sister, older brother, and younger brother. I enjoy thinking about language and culture. The absence or presence of a particular word within a language says a lot about a culture.

So, learning about a culture that necessitates words for older sibling and younger sibling has lead me to think more about these relationships that I probably would have normally. I'd say sociologically and psychologically, this idea of pecking order within a family has a lot to do with typical personality types and development. I think it's interesting that Chinese identifies with this idea with specifity in a way that English does not.

Coming from a big family, sibling relationships been a pretty important aspect of my foundation. Growing up I was always called "the baby" and then at age six, Jim came along and my title was prefixed – "the first baby." And with this, I became both a 姐姐, 妹妹 (a jie jie and a mei mei). I've learned a lot from the examples of my three older siblings (my two 姐姐 and one 哥哥). And now I have a 哥哥-in law. I've learned a lot from him, too (starting with how to take an engine out of a car). And my one 弟弟 is pretty awesome, too. He's taught me a lot, too. They've been really good examples.

Great people. Love 'em. Miss 'em.


  1. Love, Miss you too! I have learned a lot from you. I hate some of the lessons I've taught you lately though. I promise to try to attract some better mom vibes from now on and not scare you so much about what it means to be a parent!

  2. I miss you, too! I miss all my siblings!