2017 Week 23: Friendships Of Singapore’s Foreign Domestic Helpers

In response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Friend.

Friends Hugging And Putting On A NecklaceSingapore 2015: Foreign Domestic Helpers Meeting And Fellowship On Day-Off

Singapore has a lot of foreign domestic helpers from other parts of South East Asia. Most of them hail from Philippines and Indonesia, though a smaller number also come from Vietnam and Myanmar. They are usually referred to as “maids”. among the populace. Those who consciously wish to regard them with more respect and appreciation prefer to call them “helpers”.

The foreign domestic helper has actually become a cultural institution of the country, though Singaporeans could be reluctant to admit it due to a mixture of embarrassment and pride. Although not every family has a helper, there are enough Singapore families which rely on them such that if the supply of these helpers actually stopped, many families will literally plunge into crisis.

Sundays are when the helpers get their day off, where they gather in various favorite locations to catch up with friends and acquaintances. The joy, smiles and laughter at these gatherings are truly edifying and quite fascinating to watch. – WY

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