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The Chinese Match.com

I was on my way to visit some museums in Shanghai when I passed through People's Park. There were a ridiculous number of people packed there, nearly all middle-aged or older. I wondered if there was some sort of exercise activity or performance going on there. Then I saw a man wearing a sign around his neck like a political prisoner or something, but the sign actually had information about his adult son. What was going on?

The Chinese Match.com

It turns out that this is where all the parents come together to look for matches for their kids! (There are also some folks who are looking for themselves.) There's a special area for older folks, and there's an "overseas corner".

Each parent sits there with a sign with their son or daughter's year of birth, height, job, and sometimes salary. A few have pictures. In China, another important stat is your hukou, or city of residence registration (sort of an internal passport and immigration system). Some signs advertise that their kids have a car, or that they have a house in a nice area, both highly-sought prerequisites among the middle class these days.

I overheard a conversation where one mother said to another (in Shangahainese):

*sigh* Kids these days don't even want you to look for them. I had to sneak over here! They'd raise such a fuss if they found out. But what else are we gonna do, right?

Comments (3)

i was just listening to this npr piece, and thought about your blog post:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130833495

The article contradicts itself a bit. The first half talks about women not getting married because they're looking for love, but then when it gets to the play, the author says they're not married because they're looking for material wealth. :P

The important factor this article is missing is precisely the intersection there: That successful women feel the need to find an even more successful man, and men prefer women who are less successful than they are. This makes it much harder for successful women to find a suitable match.

In recent 20 years, China has too fast developing speed. So many things can't catch up the speed.

I remembered it was forbidden by school and family to have good relation between girl and boy before finishing the university education. So many women and men don't know how to find boy friend or girl friend. But after granduating from college, then one's father or mother would say: "where is your boy friend?" or "where is your girl friend?".

So not so many Chinese women want to marry to material from my view as a native Chinese. But many of them don't know how to find friend, how to love until suddenly they found they are not young!!!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 20, 2010.

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