D-is-for Don & Doña: What to call your in-laws? When I got married this is the exact question I asked my husband. As I was entering a very different culture he kindly said, “If it were me I would use Don & Doña.”
Ever since forming our family I have wanted to respect my suegros by giving them a title in front of their first name as they do here. Whenever I speak to my suegra I call her Doña Haydee. For my suegro I mention him by Don Celio (he has recently passed away).
This was never something that I had to really think about. It’s a great way to keep tradition and honor those who have so speak, put in their years. By no means do we use these “titles” because of an educational or economic status. There may be a few that do, but for the most part this is not the case. I look at it as showing respect to my elders.
My husband is a few years older than I am (7 ½) and the funny thing is people are starting to put Don in front of his name. I kind of laugh. Not in a bad way, but I can wait several more years before someone starts calling me Doña. Once I have more wisdom then I will love being Doña Rikaine.
When it comes to tradition, what are some ways you show honor where you are from?
Angie @ Newton's Travels says
So beautiful! I wish I could have met Don Celio and look forward to meeting Dona one day.
Thank you! It will be a year the end of the month since Don Celio left us.
Kathe W. says
what a lovely post- my sympathies to you and your family.
both my parents and my husbands parents have passed on.So now we are the oldest on both sides of our families. It feels quite strange to be the oldset!
Thanks Kathe! My husband and I still both have our mothers. It is very different now that he is gone.
A very heart warming post! My boyfriend’s grandparents are Nonno and Nonna (Italian) and the typical North American Grandma and Grandpa, but I feel so awkward calling his parents by their first names. I love the act of putting the “title” before the name. Great post!
Thank you! Yes, I never wanted to call them just by their first name – didn’t seem natural. Thanks for sharing what you use in Italian – very cool!
maggie winter says
I think it one of the nicest of traditional…as you say they’ve put the years in…a sign of respect. I was brought up, in England, to call all older men and woman whose name I didn’t know, sir or madam, I still do. Sadly it not common these days.
Bet you in laws loved you for it. 🙂
Loving the A to Z Challenge Maggie@expatbrazil.