Househusbands in China
  • The rise of househusbands in China has broken the traditional family model of men going out to work while their wives look after the house. The image of men who cook is increasingly positive. A man who cooks for his family is now usually seen as a man who is responsible and enjoys his family life.

    In Hohhot city, China´s Inner Mongolia, there is a saying that "a man trying to cook is like a man speaking a foreign language." The way that several family men in Hohhot take to domestic tasks suggests that men don´t belong in the kitchen is very outdated.
  • After finishing work, Li goes to vegetable and fruit markets.
  • Thirty-three-year-old Li Bin is the Secretary General of Public Welfare Association in Hohhot. Since his wife became pregnant, Li has become a true househusband. Every day, he goes the same way from work to the supermarket to the kitchen. He used to have newspapers set out on his desk, but these days that desk is more likely to be covered in recipes.
  • Li´s father was a restaurant manager, so he is good at cooking. Li loves being in the kitchen and has become adept at domestic tasks.
  • To guarantee his pregnant wife eats a variety of foods every day, Li makes drinks like five cereals (rice, two kinds of millet, wheat and beans) milk, a meal of two dishes, and soup. Controlling the heat of the soup is the key to cooking it well, he says.
  • Back home, Li uses his spare time to clean the kitchen.
  • Li always carefully picks out fruits to ensure that they are fresh. The serious expression on his face as he carries out this simple task is both amusing and touching.
  • One day, Li bought two fish from an aquatic product vendor to prepare a fish soup for his wife.
  • Li´s baby will be born in two months. It´s not often he talk to the baby in his wife´s belly, but he insists on getting up two hours earlier than he used to every day to cook breakfast for his wife so that she and his unborn child get the nutrients they need.
  • Even though Li has to struggle in the kitchen after a busy workday, he is keen to do so. Perhaps dedication to those who he loves is what a makes a good man.
  • In front of the courtyard that his family lives in, Li has his own vegetable patch. "I grow food by myself. It´s reliable," he says.
  • Li is best at cooking Northern Chinese dishes, but he wants to expand his range of dishes. So that he can prepare different foods for his wife, Li learned from his mother to make steamed buns stuffed with sweetened bean paste. Li´s buns are always bigger than his mother´s, "They are not of uniform size. They´re hard to steam," his mother says with a laugh.
  • Since his daughter born, Guo has lived with his mother-in-law, who takes care of daily housework. Guo is too busy at work in weekdays but, at the weekend, Guo enjoys cooking a feast for his family.
  • Thirty-year-old Guo Jiyong of Chifeng city in Inner Mongolia works in an electronic company in Hohhot. At the weekend, he turns househusband and cooks a fancy meal for his family. The kitchen is his favorite place in his lesuire time.
  • Guo´s favorite parts of the weeekend are cooking and having fun with his daughter. His daughter also seems happy that Guo is a part-time househusband. She says: "I like all my father´s dishes!"
  • Guo´s wife´s cooking is "not so good," so she seldom cooks, but he doesn´t mind. The old saying "the best way to a man´s heart is through his stomach" doesn´t apply to this couple.
  • Guo´s two-and-a-half year-old daughter is happy when seasoning food in kitchen. While Guo cooks, his daughter often comes and plays around him. She likes to cling to him whenever he is at home; perhaps it’s because they are able to spend such little time together.
  • Guo finds it easy to get up early in the morning to buy, wash and cook food.
  • After they finish cooking, househusbands watch their families get together and enjoy a delicious meal. This sense of achievement is their return, and is also Guo´s motivation to keep cooking.
1 of

The rise of househusbands in China has broken the traditional family model of men going out to work while their wives look after the house. The image of men who cook is increasingly positive. A man who cooks for his family is now usually seen as a man who is responsible and enjoys his family life.

In Hohhot city, China´s Inner Mongolia, there is a saying that "a man trying to cook is like a man speaking a foreign language." The way that several family men in Hohhot take to domestic tasks suggests that men don´t belong in the kitchen is very outdated.

After finishing work, Li goes to vegetable and fruit markets.

Thirty-three-year-old Li Bin is the Secretary General of Public Welfare Association in Hohhot. Since his wife became pregnant, Li has become a true househusband. Every day, he goes the same way from work to the supermarket to the kitchen. He used to have newspapers set out on his desk, but these days that desk is more likely to be covered in recipes.

Li´s father was a restaurant manager, so he is good at cooking. Li loves being in the kitchen and has become adept at domestic tasks.

To guarantee his pregnant wife eats a variety of foods every day, Li makes drinks like five cereals (rice, two kinds of millet, wheat and beans) milk, a meal of two dishes, and soup. Controlling the heat of the soup is the key to cooking it well, he says.

Back home, Li uses his spare time to clean the kitchen.

Li always carefully picks out fruits to ensure that they are fresh. The serious expression on his face as he carries out this simple task is both amusing and touching.

One day, Li bought two fish from an aquatic product vendor to prepare a fish soup for his wife.

Li´s baby will be born in two months. It´s not often he talk to the baby in his wife´s belly, but he insists on getting up two hours earlier than he used to every day to cook breakfast for his wife so that she and his unborn child get the nutrients they need.

Even though Li has to struggle in the kitchen after a busy workday, he is keen to do so. Perhaps dedication to those who he loves is what a makes a good man.

In front of the courtyard that his family lives in, Li has his own vegetable patch. "I grow food by myself. It´s reliable," he says.

Li is best at cooking Northern Chinese dishes, but he wants to expand his range of dishes. So that he can prepare different foods for his wife, Li learned from his mother to make steamed buns stuffed with sweetened bean paste. Li´s buns are always bigger than his mother´s, "They are not of uniform size. They´re hard to steam," his mother says with a laugh.

Since his daughter born, Guo has lived with his mother-in-law, who takes care of daily housework. Guo is too busy at work in weekdays but, at the weekend, Guo enjoys cooking a feast for his family.

Thirty-year-old Guo Jiyong of Chifeng city in Inner Mongolia works in an electronic company in Hohhot. At the weekend, he turns househusband and cooks a fancy meal for his family. The kitchen is his favorite place in his lesuire time.

Guo´s favorite parts of the weeekend are cooking and having fun with his daughter. His daughter also seems happy that Guo is a part-time househusband. She says: "I like all my father´s dishes!"

Guo´s wife´s cooking is "not so good," so she seldom cooks, but he doesn´t mind. The old saying "the best way to a man´s heart is through his stomach" doesn´t apply to this couple.

Guo´s two-and-a-half year-old daughter is happy when seasoning food in kitchen. While Guo cooks, his daughter often comes and plays around him. She likes to cling to him whenever he is at home; perhaps it’s because they are able to spend such little time together.

Guo finds it easy to get up early in the morning to buy, wash and cook food.

After they finish cooking, househusbands watch their families get together and enjoy a delicious meal. This sense of achievement is their return, and is also Guo´s motivation to keep cooking.