Domestic helpers in China are more commonly known by their Chinese name, ayi (阿姨), a title of respect meaning “older sister”.
A new guidebook released over the weekend hopes to provide guidelines to domestic helpers in Shanghai. Some suggestions include “not drinking alcohol or eating garlic and leeks before going to work” in order to prevent bad breath and body odor.
The Shanghai Daily reported that the guide also recommends that domestic helpers stay clean as part of their job, to refrain from wearing jewelry, using strong perfume or even painting their nails.
The guide also emphasized that Ayi should be polite and courteous. They were instructed to respect guests by offering them tea served with two hands, and escort them out of the house.
The guide didn’t shy away from explaining the hard work involved in being a domestic helper. Ayi were fully instructed on how to clean living rooms, dining rooms, or bedrooms properly.
Zhou Juemin, Deputy Director of the Shanghai Home Service Industry Association, said such criteria and standards were necessary for continuity in the industry.