When it comes to family members, we have our immediate family members consisting of our parents, siblings, spouses, and children. This group might also include our half-siblings (siblings we have from different parents).
And then there are our close relatives, such as grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
What we also count as our relatives are the extended family members, who are still related to us by blood but not as close as our immediate family members or our close relatives. Who are they and how do we address them?
Say, my grandfather has a younger brother. In Indonesian, I will simply call him ‘Kakek’ or grandfather, just as how I call my grandfather. But in English, I will refer to him as my great uncle. The same applies to great aunt.
And then I have a cousin, who is a child of my parent’s sibling. I will refer to this cousin as my first cousin. If my parent’s cousin has a child, that person is my second cousin. My child will also refer to the child of my cousin’s as the second cousin.
What about my parent’s cousins? In Indonesian, I will call them uncles and aunts. In English, they are still called cousins only with ‘removal’, that implies different generation. For example, my father’s first cousin is my first cousin once removed. The term applies both ways. My father’s first cousin will also refer to me as his/her/their first cousin once removed. My children will refer to them as the first cousin twice removed and vice versa.
The last but not least, we have the in-laws, who are related to us by marriage. Our spouse’s parents are our parents in law and our spouse’s siblings are our siblings in law.