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2. Cousins Antonym. 8.06 表3

Offsprings of Father's brothers


In the ancient past, the distinction made between cousins was strictly meant to forbid marriages between offsprings of brothers. In Chinese culture, females are "married off" to another household (adopting a different surname) hence, in terms of bloodline, offsprings of Father's sisters are not as close as those of Father's brothers.

Back then, men could have many wives and children. As a result, families tend to be pretty extensive. 表-Cousins seldom get to see each other, especially the female ones who were mostly kept at home. When children were of a suitable age, marriages are sometimes arranged between 表-Cousins.

Today, marriages between cousins are fairly uncommon but the distinctive way of addressing various family members remain.

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