I recently had my work Christmas/End of Year party – great times!
But I was chatting to some colleagues who weren’t able to attend. Their reason was they needed to be at home with the kids. I asked, “why not hire a babysitter?”
|Image Source: Andrew Branch (Unsplash)
It seems a simple enough question, but it led into a very interesting cross-cultural discussion. See, in a lot of areas of the Subcontinent and South-East Asia, “babysitting,” as known in countries like Australia, is not even a profession.
In those countries, families live in very close proximity to each other. There are usually grandparents available to take care of the kids when the parents need to work or go out for events.
This is obviously not the case in Australia – families live quite far apart. And even if nearby, “retired” grandparents are often quite busy themselves. The industry of babysitting has formed out of a need. And a supply has been found – indeed, it was one of the best jobs to do in high school when you were trying to earn some money!
I can imagine why it would be hard for someone switching cultures to adapt in this situation. If you have never used babysitters in the past, it would be very daunting for parents to think about leaving their kids with strangers! On the other hand, if you were used to babysitting services and found yourself in a country where there were none, it would be very hard to find anyone to take on the job (and very hard for you to work or go out for a party).
Feel free to comment with your experiences in this area 🙂