Gender roles

The Family and I haven’t had a long and leisurely month by ourselves in an unfamiliar country for a really long time. We have spent weeks walking in parks and watching people at leisure and talking to each other what we find universal among cultures, and what is special to some.

One of the universals we discovered is how little the behaviours of boys and girls differ from one culture to another. One day I saw a young man in a garden with his boy, maybe four years old. The boy was playacting at being a tough Kung-fu fighter, repeatedly lunging at his father with a scream and trying to push him down. Unsuccessfully, of course, since his weight class was totally different. And then we saw a mother and daughter in the park playing an intricate game of patty-cake.

The featured photo is a typical example of this gender difference. I was sitting in the park of the Summer Palace listening to an amateur group playing music when I noticed my fellow audience. The girl was trying to clap in time to the music. The boy? I don’t think he knew there was music, he was busy jumping up and down, play-acting an imaginary brawl!

Reminded me of the children in my extended family.