Marriage Market 萝卜青菜,各有所爱!

Shanghai has markets to suit everyone’s tastes. There are fashion markets, vegetable markets, meat markets, fake markets, flea markets but this? This is unlike anything I’ve seen anywhere else. This is the Marriage Market. This is held every Saturday and Sunday afternoon in People’s Park. It is visited by thousands of people and has become a tourist attraction over the years. The marriage market is a place where the older generation goes to try to find mates for their career oriented children or grand children. These are the kids who are too busy out starting businesses, climbing corporate ladders, or who are simply not interested in settling down. So, their parents and grandparents decide to start meddling in their affairs. I said earlier that Shanghai has markets to suite everyone’s tastes, the marriage market is much the same in that it has something for everyone. Most of the advertisements pull no punches. Take this ad for instance:

Girl, born in August 1986, excellent new Shanghai resident, member of Communist Party of China. Got master degree from a famous university of UK, majored in international management, now works in a foreign company, relates to risk control. Salary: RMB 120,000 per year. Has an independent apartment in Hongkou area, no mortgate. And has an house and several apartments in TaiCang area. Parents have their own business, have a certain economic strength.

Requirements for the boy: Comparable conditions, born later than 1981, bachelor degree or above, have independent apartment for marriage.

Contact: Mother, Mrs XXXX
Tel: xxxxxxxxxxx

New Shanghai Man
Born in 1972, height: 172cm
Marter degree, has an apartment
Engineer with salary RMB200,000 per year
Tel: xxxxxxxxxxx
Looking for: Born later than 1982, bachelor degree, good looking and nice character. Posted on: September 1st.

They include height, weight, salary, whether or not they own apartments, and pictures if they are good looking. This is just another fascinating part of this great city, and a great illustration of another one of the cultural differences between the US and China. In China matchmaking and arranged marriages have gone by the wayside, but this is like a new form of it. In this case it is the parents and grandparents are out looking for the kids potential mates. In the US this type of intrusion into the personal life of an adult by their parents would not be received well in most cases.

Good luck to all of the matchmakers and all of the matches.