How Chinese marriage markets help parents find a love match for their child – BBC


In Chengdu, like many other
cities in China, your parents can even pop down the park
to pick you up a partner. So, I’m in that weird sort
of mid-30 moment, where, um…where I’ve got no
choice but… ..whenever I meet up
with an older family member, I have to deal with the “Why aren’t
you married yet?” conversation. It is a little crazy being here,
because I know that my mum would be in her element. So, what brings you down
to the marriage market? Are you looking
for a partner yourself? So, what sort of information
is actually written on the boards that are plastered
up and down the pathway? Why do you think that parents see
this as being the best way to find a partner for their kids here? Over the last 15 years, these marriage markets have appeared
in major cities all over China. And, while the need for them
might be a symptom of time-starved modern lifestyles, they also
plug into the tradition of families having a role
in arranging marriages. Have you come here today
for your son or for your daughter? And how old is your daughter? Why do you think that
your daughter needs help? Although modern Chinese women
are more career-focused, there is a derogatory term
in Chinese – “sheng nu”, meaning
“leftover women” – for those still unmarried
after their mid 20s. And this stigma
still worries parents. But women have more chance
of finding love than men. During the years of
the one-child policy, boys were favoured over girls, so, now there are 34 million
more men than women. So, if you don’t mind me asking,
how old are you and are you single? So, for somebody of your age,
is it harder to find someone? Do you think that society
plays a part in the pressure that these parents feel? I think for some of the younger
kids that are coming down here, it’s kind of funny to them.
You’ve got a couple of girls who are, like, in their late teens,
early 20s, all coming down and taking pictures of
some of the signs and giggling and running away. Cos I think, for them, this is
probably the height of embarrassment to sort of see a laundry list
of what makes you amazing… There they go. ..being advertised,
and you almost being sold to a potential suitor. Maybe that’s a generational thing. Maybe that’s a youth thing.
I don’t know. But I know that if my mother
put up a form with my details on it, I think I’d be mortified.

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