Marriage Market

While marriage between university students is not allowed or at least seen with great skepticism, one obviously can not marry too late in China, either. To please the society (or more precisely: the relatives), one should be married while in the late twenties. If the “30 year mark” is approaching one better gets a partner – especially if one is female. Our teacher told us, that a 30-plus-year-old woman is watched with a little bit of disdain if not married. However, according to our (male) teacher, if a man is not married at this age “it would still be all right”.

Shanghai People’s Square
“Marriage Market” in Shanghai, seniors are praising their grandchildren.

But what to do if there is not the right partner to marry? Since the prospect brides and brooms are working, there is no time left to meet the right partner. In this case parents or grand parents are taking responsibility and are going to look for a husband or wife, respectively. We could witness this procedure on a Saturday morning at the “People’s square” in Shanghai. In this park, located right in the center of the city, we suddenly noticed quite a large group of Chinese. When we got closer, we noticed small papers, sometimes like the “wanted” placard one knows from old western movies.

Marriage in Shanghai
Birth year, body height and degree and some requests for possibly interested persons are parts of this placard.

What kind of information was pinned on the placards? Some were featuring a longer text, but most only consisted of the most important facts: One’s body hight and age, the achieved study degree, the current job position and -most important- the annual income. When we strolled this special “market”, we somehow were not fitting right in the picture: Just some young western people in between all the Chinese seniors “taking care of their grandchildren’s future luck.” Since we were a little eye-catching, some started to talk to us, even showed us pictures of their daughters…

Taking Wedding pictures in Qingdao
Couples are getting their wedding photos done in font of a German built church in Qingdao.

When a Chinese has successfully found a partner and married, they need to get wedding photos taken. Chinese love to take romantic, sometimes cheesy photos. Therefore they come in their wedding dresses and suits (some were wearing quite casual clothes below – but you won’t see it later-on in the pictures) to some beautiful places and take pictures. When we were in Qingdao, we saw tons of couples in front of the German style church or at near the sea at Badaguan area where a lot of old European houses have been preserved. The Chinese made a business out of it – we saw the bus filled with couples that was going to several scenic spots to have a picture taken.


One Response to “Marriage Market”

  1. Shanghai’s Marriage Market | awesomebitch Says:

    […] Shanghai Marriage Market in Beijing07 […]

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