Extended families

October 24, 2012

Today in the Avanzado 2 group. I had a little conversation with one of the Small Groups on what an extended family is.

I have to say that I believe the exercise where your answer should be “extended family” is misleading. I mean, I disagree an extended family is the rest of family members. For us, a family is a nuclear family, and then we have more relatives or family members. But in my view, an extended family is a cultural notion which other cultures have, meaning gypsies or roma people in Spain, African people in villages and towns, or American/Native Indians living the Indian way, so to say.

On the Talking People Podcast I published a beautiful poem, “The Housing Poem” by an Indian author, Dian Million, which gives you more accurate information (or a feel of what an extended family is, what it feels like, and why the larger families we have (cousins, people-in-law, and the like) are not extended families, really.

Of course, I could be wrong. But I thought I should pose this question to you.

PS: I wrote to Dian Million when I finally found her on the Net, and she kindly replied. So she’s seen the web page we made for her poem! 🙂

By the way, answering Pablo’s question: ‘kin’

Here is one sense of the word: http://www.aboutyourkin.com/en/. It can be “parientes más cercanos”, “next of kin” but I don’t know how to use the word, really. I believe it has restricted areas of use, like in wills (testamentos). Anyway, people, if you have better explanations, you are welcome to post them here!


  1. I’m Pablo. I think “kin” is used as generic for relatives, closer or not. I found this word in the book The Land of the Painted Caves, from Auel, where it is broadly used (it’s american English).

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