A Surprising Afternoon at the Shanghai Marriage Market
A file photo shows the annual matchmaking festival in Shanghai. The Shanghai Matchmaking Association has recently released a survey report, outlining the trends and struggles that dominate the city’s single individuals’ attitudes in dating and marriage. Based on research of some 2, singles aged between 10 and 40 years old in Shanghai, the survey results highlight only 3 percent of the interviewees have expressed the willingness to accept a partner from the Northern provinces. Over 77 percent of single Shanghai interviewees want to marry local people, while 19 percent hope their partner could be from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, or even from overseas, data shows. A single, year-old advertisement company employee Lily Wan explained people’s different living habits, life styles, and temperament in south and north regions is the major reason leading to this preference. In addition, most interviewed single individuals said, if they could not find a local partner, a person from neighboring provinces is also acceptable. The emotional intelligence quotient EQ is another key factor valued by those surveyed in finding an ideal partner, although details of desirable characteristics are varied between men and women. The top priority that men considered before rushing into a relationship is appearance, which is followed by personalities, age, living habits and family background, based on the research findings. While the preference order for women is personalities, economic conditions, living habits, capability or potential, and appearance.
The Shanghai Marriage Market – An engrossing experience!
Walk into the famous People’s Park in People’s Square on Metro Line 2 — the heart of Shanghai City — on any weekend between 12 pm and 5 pm, and you will see something strange — a huge gathering of people which is the bustling Marriage Market. At first glance of this crowd, the author thought it to be some real-estate brokering day event of sorts, but realized this to be more on the lines of a marriage brokering weekly event where desperate parents and grandparents are milling about, looking for a mate for their unmarried offspring.
It may sound quite crude, but actually this is traditional and a regular activity for the middle aged and the elderly folks.
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Seeking Love in Shanghai: The People’s Park Matchmaking Corner
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Chinese parents put up personal information of their children to help them find partners at a matchmaking corner in Nanning in March. Photo: IC. Changing concepts of happiness give young Chinese little appetite for parental matchmaking. Young Chinese flee from pushy parental matchmaking. Photo: IC Parks in Chinese metropolises have long been seen by pushy parents as perfect venues to hunt for a suitable spouse for their children who are too busy or slow to find love.
But young Chinese people now have “ever growing needs” and one of those is the need to avoid this kind of arranged marriage and choose their own partner. Many are now of the opinion that happiness cannot be found through formulaic descriptions of their personalities and qualities on a piece of laminated A4 paper. At matchmaking corners in parks, parents usually display a resume of their child, listing education, birth date, salary, job, housing and any details that might “help” find a future spouse.
A permanent residence, house in a major city, overseas education or a car are seen as selling points, and parents of candidates blessed with such gifts tend to be much pickier.
“Matchmaking day” held in Shanghai
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