growing up filipino, we were taught to be respectful of our elders. hence, i call my parents' friends 'tito' and 'tita' (filipino words for 'uncle' and 'auntie.' they're derived from the spanish words 'tio' and 'tia') even if we're not related to them by blood. same with my own friends' parents. i call them auntie and uncle too instead of mr. and mrs. forbes. otherwise, i'd feel disconnected and awkwardly strange and disrespectful. i don't know why. maybe it's my upbringing.
we don't have any blood relatives here in edmonton. but we have an abundance of extended family that i happily call my aunties, uncles, and cousins. with the holidays creeping its way in, they are the closest thing to blood family that we could have.
we are blessed.