Host Mom KMW writes with this thoughtful question:
When other families think about cultural exchange, what kinds of things count?
- People say they like to expose their children to another language, but how many host kids have actually learned that language (more than counting to 10 and hello and goodbye)?
- How many au pairs actually cook food from their country?
- Do host families take part in any other cultural activities from the au pair’s country (such as celebrating foreign holidays)?
- Have you learned anything much about politics or culture from your au pair?
- What kinds of specifically cultural things end up being shared between an au pair and a host parent?
- In the end do these make a big difference in the experience?
KMW, this is a fun question to think about ... especially since so many of the ‘cultural’ things that we’ve learned from our au pairs have come in bits and pieces, and are often indistinguishable from personality differences.
Readers, what counts as something “cultural” for you?