--- SEARCH ---
Learning Chinese
Learn to Cook Chinese Dishes
Exchange Rates

Hot Links
China Development Gateway
Chinese Embassies

Chinese Husbands Lend a Helping Hand in Kitchen
A growing number of Chinese men are taking up cooking, a household chore that has long been considered the preserve of women in a country with a deep tradition of male chauvinism.

Sun, a demobilized soldier, became a skilled cook during his three-year service in the People's Liberation Army. Now he cooks dinner for his family every day after work.

"He's really mature and considerate," said Sun's mother, a retired worker in Shenyang, a traditional industrial base in the northeastern Liaoning province.

A Chinese reporter covering the 2002 World Cup in the Republic of Korea earlier this year was admired by his ROK tour guide when he cooked Chinese dishes for her as a special treat.

"In my country, few men know how to cook," said the young lady.

Most of China's central and local TV stations broadcast special programs to teach viewers cooking techniques, most of them hosted by men.

Liu Yiwei has become a household name in China since the bespectacled young man, wearing an apron and speaking vigorously with a Sichuan accent, hit the airwaves of China Central Television with his cooking show several years ago.

As a child, Liu learned to cook from his grandfather in his southwestern hometown, a place known for spicy food and as the origin of many world-renowned Chinese dishes.

Cooking was good for a man and his family alike, said Liu. "When you're vexed, the ventilator in your kitchen can take your bad mood away, and you bring your family a pleasant surprise when you cook them a new dish."

Likewise, the numerous training programs on Chinese and Western cooking skills, which have remained popular over the past two decades, have also drawn more men than women, according to figures provided by training centers in Shenyang.

And sources from the hotel industry say an overwhelming majority of chefs hired by the country's major hotels are male.

"It's nice to see that men too have learned to cook," said a retired secondary school teacher who gave her family name as Zhang. "It's social progress. Anyway, there's no law stipulating cooking is a job only for females."

Young girls looking for their Mr. Right like to say, jokingly, that in the 21st century, a man would be more attractive if he could cook.

"A man can prove to be affectionate to the woman he loves if he can cook her favorite dishes," said Xu, a single woman in her early twenties. "Masculinity with a smack of heated vegetable oil would make him more charming."

A housewife said she appreciated her husband's efforts to help with the cooking.

"He managed to cook the first meal the day he knew I was pregnant, and never gave up. Now our son has entered primary school, and my husband has become the best cook among his friends," she said without giving her name.

And many househusbands have found their new role quite enjoyable.

"I think cooking is pleasant and interesting. It's an art, a permanent part of your life in which a good mood is the best dressing," said Mr. Li, a clerk who won a prize in a cooking contest at his company.

"Many of my male colleagues cook at home," he said proudly.

Most of Li's colleagues said they did this to show love and concern for their wives. On the other hand, they said they were always proud, happy and encouraged when their family enjoyed the dishes.

(Xinhua News Agency November 27, 2002)

"Dinkies" on the Rise in Shanghai
Survey: Chinese Faithful to Lovers
Marriage Most Stable When Husband Earns Twice as Much as Wife
China Women Development Group
All China Women's Federation
Print This Page
Email This Page
About Us SiteMap Feedback
Copyright © China Internet Information Center. All Rights Reserved
E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-68326688