CHANGE UNIVERSE: Magazine Jewels
Shanghai | AttractionMay 3, 2012

Marriage Market

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This post is dedicated to  my dear friends who  Shanghai,  Ekaterina Gribova and Carlos Perico.

“Female, born 1981, 1.62 meters tall, bachelors degree, project director at a foreign company, monthly salary above 10000 ?, looking for someone born between 82 and 74, bachelors degree or above with a sense of responsibility for the family. “

“My daughter doesn’t approve of me coming here. I stole this photo of her to bring to the market,” said the father who owns the sign pictured above. He has sent is 29-year-old daughter on 12 dates with men he found at the people’s square marriage market. “But it never works out,” he said, shaking his head.

Yes believe it or not  with a projected 24 million bachelors in China by 2020, Shanghai's parents at the local marriage market have their work cut out and it is here , in the beating heart of this modern city , People's  Square, where in large park, walking paths, greenery and two museums  parents and grandparents meet every Saturday or Sunday, rain or shine to find a husband or a wife for their children before they gets too old.

And on weekend afternoons that heart flutters and palpitates as doting parents hope to marry off their kids. Next to the modern art museum in People's Square Park, crowds of them jostle and chatter, the bushes around filled with papers advertising height and weight, salary and education. “28. Good job. Local resident. Have house have car. Contact for a meeting,” says one.

I walk in the crowd , and I notice that men and woman are watching me close. The way I walk, the way I am dressed and I am certain they are wandering if I am to be married or just a journalist. I seem far too interested in the long array of personal advertisement on pretty shopping bags and hanging on long threads throughout the park.

Obviously a lot goes on this nuptial gathering.. Discussions, calculations, and heavy negotiations. Parents without their children consent arrange dates, meetings and potential matches for their kids. Some children, often too busy working to devote time to meeting a soul mate, accept their parents' help. But its not easy even for a parent, and many also employ matchmakers. You will see a few on the pictures of this post, it is quite easy to recognize them as they look incredibly professional and have a walking office consisting of a wooden portable table and a chair.

Matchmakers broker meetings for numerous clients usually charging RMB 10-20 per pairing. “I’ve been a matchmaker for three years,” says Mr Zheng “There’s no large payment up front. If you get married, I expect a nice gift and maybe an invitation to attend the wedding. I already represent two American men. Interested?”

Joelle's Tips:

Feeling lonely?

You can advertise yourself for free, but make sure to write if you own an apartment or a house, how many bedrooms , your yearly salary, your weight and heights, a pretty picture and your education as well. Don't lie it will be a waste of time.  After all and , true love is hard to find nowadays and has become a highly valuable commodity, so my friend, I wish you good luck.

The Shanghai marriage market takes place on Saturday and Sunday afternoons from about noon to three. It is found just inside gate 5 of People’s Square Park, 75 Nanjing Xi Lu., across from the Grand Theater. Take Metro line 1, 2 or 8 to People’s Square station, take Exit 9 to the ground level and turn left.

The Source : Cnn Go Gillian Bostboner

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