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Life of the never-touch-a-pan generation

By Lu Feiran   (Shanghai Daily)

08:18, March 06, 2013

Dubbed as the "never-touch-a-pan generation," today's Chinese young people are mostly lacking in basic domestic skills, such as cooking, cleaning, washing and housework. Usually parents and ayis take care of all the chores even though the children are married and move out.(Shanghai Daily)

MANY sheltered urban young people don't know how to cook a meal, sew on a button or iron a shirt. They are known as the never-touch-a-pan generation. Lu Feiran reports on changing lifestyle.

Nearly eight years after getting married and having a three-year-old boy, 34-year-old Jenny Zhang, together with her husband and the toddler, is still living with her parents.

Although before they got married, the couple believed they could look after their parents better if they lived together, the fact is that the parents do almost all the chores.

"I don't know how to cook," says Zhang, a saleswoman at a chemical reagent company. "And since we both go home rather late every day, it's not realistic for us to cook our dinner after work."

Zhang's life is quite representative of the situation many young people in Shanghai nowadays. While parents are proud of their children's achievements in education and career, some of them worry that their children are totally lacking in basic domestic skills, such as cooking, cleaning, ironing, doing washing, housework, and generally taking care of themselves.

It's the instant-noodle, take-out generation. Mothers and ayis (domestic helpers) do everything and it's especially unmanly for a young man to do women's work or iron a shirt. Men and women too can go through life without sewing on a button.

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