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JAN MY DEAR
Monday, 20 April 2009

calmodafusion3.jpgI have the terrible habit of calling people by their name and then add 'sweetie'. Not people I haven't met before of course, but if I know them for one day, they might run the risk of being called 'sweetheart'.

I know it's a problem but I can't help it, it just flows from my mouth naturally. Depending on the culture, people respond to it differently. In Holland it's not very normal, but my Dutch friends would probably be surprised if I don't say 'liefie' anymore. When I arrived in Brazil, I was delighted that even shopkeepers call me 'querida'. But moving to Switzerland was somehow a shock. People are insulted when I call them like this, although I'm slowly building up my network of sweetie-pies thank God. One back up I have here are my baha'i friends who often have Persian backgrounds. They use the word 'jan' which means 'my dear'.

Inspired by Obama's Naw Ruz speech, I'm considering a different strategy now. If I start using 'jan', people might not react offended since they simply don't know the word. And then I can still contribute my love for fellow humans to the purpose of World Peace.

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