Parents bring along a single sheet of paper containing vital statistics on their child — age, occupation, education, and property ownership are all musts.Other parents peruse the offerings, and the different parties hash out the specifics of what they are looking for in a future son- or daughter-in-law.But these seniors weren't waiting to take a tai chi class or to make small talk over chess.
If — and only if — the vibe is right, photos and contact information are swapped discreetly, so that the singles can arrange to meet in person on their own time. Perhaps in the interest of saving time, some are very straightforward with their requirements.
Competition is fierce, and it isn't easy to impress these parents on the prowl for future in-laws. Phrases like, "My son graduated from University X — with a full-ride scholarship! On postings for female partners, it's not uncommon to spot demands like "must be fair-skinned" or "must be able to give birth." Bilingualism is a plus, too; one ad featured a Chinese poem that potential suitors must adequately translate into English in order to receive a call back. Dressed in an ostentatious red suit and cowboy hat, he told Refinery29 that he has spent the past six years managing marriage postings.
On a sweltering Saturday in late August, a steady stream of senior citizens paraded through Shanghai's People's Park.
Armed with colorful umbrellas and stools, they set up camp along the labyrinth of walkways, rarely looking up from their newspapers or knitting yarn.
The booming marriage market has even sparked a cottage industry of agents, who offer to save parents a day in the hot sun by posting notices on their behalf. Gu said he makes around 4,000 Yuan (about 0) per month from displaying laminated advertisements in a heavily trafficked area of the park.
Some of these brokers charge a premium for access to a phone directory-like notebook with the contact information of unmarried locals. Each parent pays a fee of 100 Yuan (about $16) for a six-month posting on his board.