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?"