January 19, 2006

NY'ers: Wo Yao Yige Chinese Nanny


So Mandarin-speaking nannies are the new hotness in the US, according to the BBC, as parents try to give their kids an early start on the language of their future overlords [or, if you're a nationalistic optimist, their future joint venture partners.]

One nanny supposedly had a bidding war, and got a $70,000 salary out of it. Yikes. Some money-saving tips:
- Be flexible on the nanny's accent [I'm sure Fujianese speakers command much less.]
- Make sure your nanny does the whole diaper-free thing; that'll save you a couple grand right there.
- Try hiring someone from one of those Chinese-run taco places; they'll ask for less, plus they'll teach your kid Spanish, too, which was the last hot nanny language.

The nanny placement consultant is skeptical, though: "It's almost like when everybody had the Pomeranians [dogs] and the Pocketbooks [computers] a few years ago. Maybe it will last but I don't think so."

Chinese nanny state takes root in US [bbc via gothamist]


This is rich. as a Chinese persons ourselves, my wife and I had to actively discourage both sets of grandparents from going out and finding a Chinese nanny for us.

Why not a Chinese nanny? Dude, I had to grow up being a second-generation misfit, why would I want to subject my kids to the exact same situation? They get plenty of cultural exposure going to Grandma's house and seeing the extended family. My oldest is now in Kindergarten, and we're raising him Chinese-American. Which means of course, equal time for chinese take-out and KFC.

[I think the ABC experience is really worth looking at here; several Chinese friends of ours have had great experiences that made me want a Chinese nanny, too. But others have had real culture clashes, too. Ultimately, I think I'd be most comfortable with someone who knew/understood/shared a lot of my own cultural values, since all that'll get imparted too. -ed.]

Zhongguo "nanny" hen you yong! Wode erzi you! Ta san sui, danshi tade zhongwen bi wo hao de duo. Ta zhang da de shihou, ruguo ta yao zai beijing zuo maimai, mei wenti.

I believe Jim Rogers started the trend: http://www.energybulletin.net/929.html

I wonder how many families are actually seeking out Chinese nannies because they adopted a baby from China and want to ensure their baby retains some part of their Chinese heritage.

[an interesting question that's not examined at all in the BBC's mostly data-free story. -ed.]

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