In Vietnamese culture con cô con cậu can marry each other. It just means offsprings  of your dad’s sister can marry kids of your mum’s brother. In other words if it’s by marriage then it’s okie.

Now this is where the hierarchy system breaks down.

Hubby’s oldest sister is in her 70s thus her kids are in their 50s. Her son inlaw is in his early 60s.

Last night they all laughed at the dilemma of how do they all address each other? As her daughter in law parents keeps on addressing her and her daughters as chị (older sister).

Which is quite disrespectful as it means she’s seen in the same light as her daughters. 

But when you dissect it, it might not be.

1/ the daughters are all older than the mother in law thus she’s calling them older sisters.

2/ the mother in law calls one of the daughters chị as they are related by marriage on the daughter’s husband side. And that’s her address in the “hierarchy” system. 

3/ chị sui is a term used to address the mother of the groom/bride if you happen to be the parents of the bride/groom. As long as you used it together then it’s acceptable. Just don’t only use the word chị if you’re calling the kids chị too. 

It’s all just too confusing. It’s like I befriended someone and I called them chị . Then my sister married her son and  becomes her daughter in law thus I then have to reduce my status and call her cô (aunty) instead😂