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Issue 22

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In Korea, Both Men and Women are Cooking

Joon-Woo Ko from Korea

Joon-Woo Ko does some cooking.
Photo from Joon-Woo Ko
The relationships between men and women have changed; and this has affected cooking at home. In recent years, husbands have started doing some of the cooking at home. Why is this happening?

 

In the past in Korea, there were large families with grandparents and over four children. Each family had up to eight members in the household.

Men usually worked outside of the home and made money for the family to live on. In the case of women, it was completely the opposite. Women were supposed to stay at home and do only things related to housework.

In those large families, there were really strict traditional rules about men's and women's roles. The women used to manage the housework, especially the cooking. Men were not allowed in the kitchen for any reason at all; only women could be there.

However, as generations have changed little by little, the relationships between men and women have changed; and this has affected cooking at home.

In recent years, husbands have started doing some of the cooking at home. Why is this happening?

One reason is the change in family size. Large families are no longer common. Nowadays, some married couples no longer want to live together with their parents. They want to live on their own because they have uncomfortable relationships with them. It is often hard for a new couple to live with their parents.

Sometimes, there are problems; and the young couple wants to be independent from their parents. These young people are free to change the rules and don't have to worry that their parents will disapprove. Many now think it is no big deal if a husband cooks for his wife; often they see it as an expression of his love for her.

Another reason is the improvement of women's position in society. Women now work like men. Some women even make more money than men do. These women will not stop working once they get married. They no longer want to stay at home.

Even if some husbands don't like that, they know that they need the money she earns in order to bring up their children. If both the husband and the wife work out of the home, which should cook? It has to be both of them now because neither one has enough time to do all the cooking. Therefore they need to share the cooking.

Actually, it doesn't matter who cooks. It can be either the husbands or the wives; it all depends on the situation of each couple. This is the reality in Korea nowadays, even if some conservative people don't want to accept it. However, a lot of people are beginning to understand and even approve of these changes, and more and more men are spending time in the kitchen along with their wives!


More on cooking and eating trends:
People in Korea are Eating More Vegetables | Varying Menus: Modified Fast Food | Avocado Rolls: A New Japanese Food? | In Japan, Men are Learning to Cook 

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