China surpasses the world in yet another category: Quality husbands
Lung Ying-tai once published an essay called, “Oh, Shanghainese men.”
The Taiwanese writer, who claimed to have seen it all, praised the Shanghainese husband as “a rare species in this world” and “the most valuable type of man.”
What on earth do these relatively tame-looking guys do to seduce Chinese women so completely? Let me, a born-and-raised Shanghainese woman, explain to the lure of the Shangainese man.
1. The versatile ma da sao
Ma da dao is Shanghainese slang meaning, “shop, wash, cook.”
Because sao (cook) has the same pronunciation as the word for an older woman, when Chinese hear the term “ma da sao,” they usually picture a housewife.
The exception is when the term is used to describe men in Shanghai -- guys who don’t just shop, wash and cook, but famously do so without complaint.
This is why on any Shanghai-based TV show, men are pictured wearing aprons, mopping floors and picking up the kid from school.
The superpowers of local husbands allow them to actually have fun in malls, salons and even the world’s first-ever flagship Barbie store.
While Western wives may spend their lives waiting to taste their husbands’ cooking, the Shanghai man presents his woman with a banquet of delicious home-cooked food with ease.
Braised meatballs, fried fish or chicken soup … what do you fancy today, hon?
2. The professional 'bag carrier'
Pop quiz: Which brand of bag will you most often find a Shanghai man carrying?
a. Hello Kitty
The answer is, of course, Hello Kitty, because that’s his wife’s bag.
When shopping with her Shanghainese boyfriend or husband (yes, Shanghai men shop, remember “ma” from point number one?) the Shanghai female doesn’t need to carry any bags, including her own petite purse.
That’s a chore Shanghai men gladly take care of.
Shanghainese men also often carry a packet of tissue with them in case their partner should need it.
What’s more, they even remember their wife’s period cycle, to know when to behave with more tenderness.
This might be considered “whipped” by outsiders, but a Shanghainese man will tell you proudly that it’s their pleasure.
More on CNNGo: Chinese men wear handbags to be masculine
3. Family pride
Chatting with a married Western man, you may need to wait hours before he mentions his wife. Chatting with a married Shanghainese man, you may need to wait hours before he stops talking about his wife.
When a Shanghainese man begins dating, gets engaged or is having a baby, he blasts out the news to every single contact on his cell phone.
For Shanghai men, enjoying life with family is far better than going it alone.
Proud Shanghainese husbands take their wives to every event they attend, from school reunions to team-building exercises at work.
The relationship between mother and daughter-in-law is like an active volcano in the Middle Marriage Kingdom. But the Shanghai husband’s legendary tolerance can single-handedly turn a lava flow into a pile of dead ashes, or a volcano to be enjoyed and admired like Mt. Fuji.
For the Shanghainese husband, tolerance is a must.
“Three-plywood” is a Shanghainese slang term used when a person is stuck between two parties.
Being a good “three-plywood,” “four-plywood” or even “five-plywood” man is a serious obligation in Shanghai. The ultimate goal is to make the wife and mother-in-law happy and to unite the whole family.
5. Masculinity in disguise
OK, stop thinking that all Shanghainese husbands are submissive, girlie or wimpy. Believe me, these great guys have the flag of masculinity flying in their hearts.
Shanghainese men simply see it as their responsibility to provide their families with a wealthy life. Their outlook is, “I’ll make all the money and deal with all the 'bei ju,'" a trendy Internet phrase in China meaning “everything tragic.”
So, yes, they are tough. But always thoughtful.
Shanghai husbands almost always give their wives their entire salaries (receiving an allowance in return), but not before hiding some “si fang qian” (secret money) for personal use.
Yet even with their “si fang qian,” Shanghai husbands are likely to buy their wife a gift to make her laugh.
That’s called being a man in Shanghai.
More on CNNGo: Shanghai's ultimate matchmaker -- Gong Haiyun