Family, love, and non-oteqaši (humans) versus oteqaši.
Tazigo messaged me with a good question regarding my last post on hospitality customs. How does living alone work? Do families live together? Significant others? In this post I will answer these questions and more by describing the different family relations and how children are raised. Apologies to those who were looking forward to my post on the religion and government, but I figured that this would be good to have first because it ties into previous posts.
Children are not raised by their biological parents. Because of Oteqaši biology and reproduction (which will be a topic for another post) the parents are considered too similar to their children and instead they go by a system of guardianship. If a person decides that they would like to be a guardian for a child, they are put onto a list by the government and will be notified when there is a compatible child for them. Usually the child will come from another person within the particular county that they live in and before the child’s birth the guardian will forge a close relationship with the biological parent.
As noted within the hospitality post itself: children live within the homes of their guardians. People are not just about to leave a helpless child out in their own building when they do not know how to handle themselves. It’s actually very important in Oteqaši society when you get to live on your own. It happens around the time that one has their second name chosen that they get to start having their own place in which to go instead of staying with their guardian all the time.
When it comes to choosing to make a family, it is a bit more complicated. Guardians usually do not have a partner for the span of time that they are a guardian, and people who are in a relationship usually do not have children while they are in the relationship. It is considered indecisive if you want both at one time, especially since you are supposed to give your whole effort towards one or the other.
People who decide to forge a life relationship do not have to necessarily share a home. It is considered healthy still to live apart and continue your life independently from one another. It is also important to note that a life relationship does not have to constitute a romantic one. There are plenty of people in fa relationships that do not live together. It is also wrong to term a fa relationship as marriage, because it is not legal at all. If anything, it is purely a social custom.
If people decide that they do, in fact, wish to cohabitate together then that will be a big change for both of them. Non-guardian cohabitation is considered the most close and personal step that you can take in a relationship, particularly because homes are such a private place for a person.
Obviously this is different from our society in which rooming with other people or living in larger houses with shared spaces and many people living within is normal, but it’s just a cultural difference here. It is more normal for them to make another habitation for another person (especially since the population is not excessively big, even within cities) than to create large buildings with many rooms for the purpose of large related families living together. But this is what the Oteqaši sees as normal, so that is how they have decided to live.