While hundreds and thousands of miles away from home, BYU-Hawaii students said they’re becoming more and more like their parents in how they speak and act.
“My mom has her own pronunciation of words,” Filly Metta, a sophomore majoring in social work from Papua New Guinea, said while laughing. “She always called me baby and I would say, ‘Mom, I’m grown! Don’t call me baby!’ And she’d say ‘What? There’s nothing wrong with it.’
“Now I find myself saying baby too, like ‘Hey baby!’ and ‘Hi Lisa babe!’ to my friends.”
The pidgin word for goodnight in Papua New Guinea is “nanight,” she explained, “But my mom would say ‘mamight’ and I used to make fun of her saying it weird. But now I say mamight.” She said she likes it so much she uses it while texting.
Bailey Carpenter, a freshman majoring in psychology from Pennsylvania, said, “My mom had a bob haircut in her 20s and 30s, and I swore I would never do that. Last week I chopped it all off [to above my shoulders].” She explained her hair was about to her waist but was easier to deal with when it is short.
Kaelei Haws, a senior studying TESOL from Arizona, said, “Growing up, my parents were all into bettering yourself and the positive movement, and I thought it was weird.
“Now one of my key foundations is positivity. I tell myself, ‘Don’t say no,’ and, ‘You can do it.’”
Her mom used to write lists all the time to check off and to remember to do, she said. “Now I use lists all the time and my mom has become less reliable on them.”
Elizabeth Merrill, a freshman majoring in marine biology from California, started laughing and covering her face with her hands when asked what weird things she gets from her parents. She says words like “thinga-ma-bob, dohickie, gaggle, and what’s her bucket or what’s his bucket [if it’s a male].” She said it’s “because my mom used them all the time.” She explained, “‘Thinga-ma-bob’ I use a lot and that’s just any object.
Alisa Chan, a freshman majoring in elementary education from Taiwan, said, “My dad loves tennis and I didn’t really like it growing up.” But because he loved, it she started playing it more when she got to BYUH, she explained. “Now I love it.”
Jofre Downs, a sophomore majoring in computer science from Arizona, said, “Whenever [my mom] has a fork and knife, she uses the knife to push food onto the fork because she thinks that’s easier. And I do it too because it is easier.”