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Especially in Broi, the children of the lower classes often band together in small mixed groups, not really gangs, since they are quite friendly amongst themselves and to outsiders (always excepting the occasional pick-pocketing and begging and the frequent practical joking) : the Southern Colloquial term is haden'yal, literally 'friendly group'. They have between four and ten members; a group of ten is likely to split within a year. Most often the members of a haden'yal live at home, with their parents, but occasionally a group finds a place to live for themselves; in those cases that is often preparatory to a marriage between core members of the group.

In Southern Colloquial Charyan these young Broyan girls, from ten to fourteen, often address each other as adiki, 'little brother', much to the amusement of Charyans from other parts. Even more interesting is that boys from the same age group, one they have become friends with a group of girls, also call the girls adiki. They are themselves then called yadiki, 'little sister', both by the girls and the boys.

Note that there isn't any evidence for role switching in these groups other than the swapping of 'brother' and 'sister'; indeed, that would be difficult since there are no clearly separated gender roles in the ethnic southern Charyan society. Indeed, the switching of terminology is easily explained by the tencendy of street gangs to do exactly the opposite of what's done at home.

In some respects, the groups of acolytes at the most important temples on Temple Mountain, form an institutionalized example of haden'yal, even though it is clear that there will be very few children from the lower classes in those groups!

On a phonological note: the terms adiki and yadiki when used in these groups tend to have the second syllable pronounced in an elongated high tone, de-emphasizing the gender difference, but when used in a family situation adiki and yadiki have the stress on the first syllable, emphasizing the gender difference.


© 1999 Boudewijn Rempt - Optimized for Lynx