that would have come out of me if i had allowed it. You see, the first time I heard David's nephew/nieces call him by name ( and without the customary "Uncle" in front ), i was shocked...and when they teased him or took jabs at him, my jaw must have dropped open. He took it all good naturedly and teased them back. I quickly realised it was all friendly family banter. David's oldest sister is about 13 years older than he is, so his nieces and nephew are either older than I am, around my age, or not that much younger.
Even so, it took me a while before I could call David's dad Walter, without feeling like I was supremely rude and disrespectful.
On the other hand, in Asian cultures, there is always a hierarchy of who comes first on the family tree and hence needs to be duly respected and addressed by their respective titles i.e aunt/great-aunt/grand-uncle ( as you can see from this list ). You name it, there is a chinese title out there for your mother's uncle's cousin twice removed and so forth but NEVER EVER call them by their first name.At the dinner table, an Asian person would be considered rather rude if he did not address all the older people by turn, at the table and "invite them to partake in the meal", as it were, before they dug in! I still do that with my parents and family back in Malaysia.
Everyone in David's family calls me "Letti" - even his little 4 year old great-niece ( OMG i'm a great-aunt ) - and you know what? I love it because it breaks down all the generation barriers and allows you to be closer to one another on so many levels.