The new trend of parent care in Cambodia

“It is traditional Asian culture, [that] when children are young, parents look after them, and when parents are old, their children look after them. Children are taught to respect elders, stay with them and care for them when they get old.”

So wrote Princess Norodom Soma, of Cambodia’s royal family, in an opinion piecepublished in 2012. She added that she herself had left her job and moved back to Cambodia from the United States in order to take care of a frail parent, Prince Norodom Vatvani, a cousin of King Norodom Sihamoni.

Taking care of old and frail parents is commonly seen as the responsibility of children in Cambodia. This is part of a traditional and deep-rooted culture of Cambodians, which has continued from the prehistoric era until the modern day. Traditionally, within the family, the wife is supposed to stay at home and be responsible for the care of frail and bedridden parents, and household chores, while the husband goes out to work and plays the role of breadwinner. However, this norm is likely to change in the near future.

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