After Purba’s post, I too can say I form part of the exception. Born and brought up in a family where everybody cooks, I thought that that is the norm until the day I went to college and after..
College told me men rarely cooked that they mostly sat at tables and ate. Many of them needed to be served!!! Some men never even entered the kitchen, a handful of them experimented, while a lot of new gen husbands helped their wives. And most of them didn’t know how to cook. Sheeeesh! Just imagine my horror.. For many of my classmates, it was some kind of taboo that the men in my family handled a kitchen!
I say, come over to my home you can see everybody cooking and making delicious meals, masalas, powders, looking up recipes to cook and serve! It is a daily affair.
If you want to go wow come on a day when the extended family meets for lunch or dinner like on Christmas or Easter, Onam or Vishu or a small in-house party.. Most often it is the men – the fathers, sons and nephews who cook and serve everyone. Women and children are served first and it is only later that the men sit down to eat.
Come to think of it, it is a 180 degree shift on world view inside the kitchen and around the dining table.
I was brought up with the idea that cooking is a life skill for survival, like swimming and cycling not just a hobby or a part time fancy to impress somebody or a job! Unfortunately, I was told repeatedly it is a gender specific role assigned to a particular person in the household in college and later!!! This has greatly to do with how children are brought up and a household functions. This deep seated internalization needs to change at the very beginning when two people get married and bring up a childrather than when the child turns 25 or 41.
For a moment, boys and girls, men and women just think.. What is your first instinct in the morning (after all your nature’s calls and cleaning up :D) do you automatically enter the kitchen to make coffee/breakfast or search for a coffee filled mug/plate of food on the dining table or a coffee filled flask/casserole somewhere in the kitchen or go out to get your coffee/plate of food or is your instinct to make the coffee/breakfast for all at home..
I hope this exception becomes a daily practice everywhere for a better living.