Thursday, May 29, 2008

Grounds for Divorce

I was talking to a teacher who I am giving private English lessons to yesterday, and she made an interesting comment about divorce in China that I had never heard--a common reason for separation is housework. Many young Chinese have never been taught to do housework their entire lives, and when it comes time to live the married life the husband and wife have so many fights about taking care of the home that it ends in divorce. With the one-child policy and the particularly overwhelming Chinese love for children, many of the so-called "Little Emperors" are now spoiled at home, and not made to help take care of the home. There is also so much competition and pressure to get into the best high school, the best college, and get the best job possible that most parents consider the duty of students to study--and do practically nothing else. Many of the college students at this school are getting a part-time job for the first time, and others will work for the first time when they get their first job after graduation. The student who is giving me Chinese lessons has an uncle visiting Zhangye shortly, and asked me to please not mention the lessons to him--he told her to give up her tutoring and spend all her time studying, and she told him she would. A good many of our students must also hide the fact that they have a boyfriend or girlfriend from their parents, because the parents would never allow them to be so distracted from their studies.

Before she started talking about divorce in our lesson, that teacher asked me something that, as a 25-year old, sounded a little strange: "Do you know how to do household chores?"


Anonymous said...

Sharing household with people from different countries I would say that Chinese have high standard of hygiene and do the cleaning.

Per my observation Canadian students don't care about hygiene although maybe it's not fare to compare 20 year olds with 30 year olds.

People who really don't do any house chores are Indians. Cast society makes it a job of untouchables. Educated Indians are offended if you ask them to clean anything.

I heard that Vietnamese society is stratified as well and educated Vietnamese are just like educated Indians. They'll never do anything.

Dan said...

Most of the Chinese I know here are perfectly responsible about cleaning. These problems with not learning to do chores are probably more common in the bigger, developed cities in which the "Little Emperors" seem to be much more spoiled. Most of the kids at this school grew up in small villages and wouldn't have been very spoiled.

Anonymous said...

One look at a Canadian street anywhere in the nation version any Chinese street anywhere in the nation would indicate that Chinese are incapable of cleanliness. Heck, I teach 20-somethings at a "key" university here in China, and the pigsties (used tissues thrown on desks, on floors, inside desks - anywhere but the room's trashcan) they leave the classrooms in would never, ever be found in Canada, or India for that matter. Funny, that.

OnlimElite said...

Where I come from, we are taught to "respect books" and I cringe when I see my Chinese classmates writing in their textbooks with a pen and giving their books dog ears.

As for divorce, I believe (at least)90% of divorce worldwide, China included has to do with sex. Lack of satisfaction and blaming it on things that are easier to talk about is what most people do.

Hygiene I would have to say is completely subjective. It wouldn't be fair to say that one country's people are generally cleaner than another if the factors influencing hygiene are overlooked.

Anyway, interesting blog, keep posting!