Did you know that there is a world famous city with a weekly marriage market? Each Saturday and Sunday, pastel umbrellas with clipped information about prospective partners are on display and blind dates will follow.
Amazing, right?
Do you know where we need to travel to in order to visit the marriage market?
It is indeed Shanghai. A bit more about it:
Shanghai Marriage Market in People’s Park
Every weekend, a large number of parents and even grandparents gather in the famous People’s Park, which is located in People’s Square in the center of Shanghai. Those parents advertise their single children for marriage with posters showing personal information on the ground or umbrellas. That is the Shanghai Marriage Market in People’s Park, which has been a prevailing activity in the park from 2004 till now.
Who are Participants? – Anxious Parents
The market is crowded with the elders, mostly parents, sometimes even grandparents, aunts or other relatives, who have the anxiety of their unmarried offspring. It’s rare to see the young people whose information is displayed in the posters. Why? There are mainly two reasons: in traditional Chinese Culture, Chinese parents have strong willingness to participate in their children’s spouse selection; in addition, lots of young people don’t like blind dates, so they are less likely to participate.
“Leftover” Males and Females Take the Majority
Generally speaking, the age of those unmarried children in the Shanghai Marriage Market in People’s Park averagely ranges from 26 to 35. According to the figure investigated by some parents, the number of unmarried females is greater than that of male, and the sex ratio is about 1:5. So, excellent males are pretty popular in the Marriage Market.
How to Advertise the Unmarried Children? – By Posters
When you walk along the Marriage Market, you may be attracted by the personal biographies on the posters, which are like advertisements to directly show children’s statistics. Age, zodiac, sign, weight, height, job, education background, personal income or birthplace is always seen. You may seldom see information about personal hobbies, or appearances.
Besides, many parents list several requirements on which kind of mate they would like to choose for their children. The girls’ parents care about the apartment very much and many choose to refuse boys who don’t own accommodation for financial reasons. In addition, the other parents’ jobs are also considered.
In Shanghai Marriage Market in People’s Park, parents focus more on whether the unmarried boys and girls match each other in aspects of materials; whether the family backgrounds are equal to each other. Most of the parents ignore the children’s value of love and life. For example, a special area is set for parents whose children have overseas study experience, so they have a greater chance to find an equal match for their children.
When to Have a Look? – At Weekends
In fact, the Marriage Market is open every day, but it’s highly advised to go there at weekends, especially on Saturdays from around 11:00 to 16:00, when it is busier than usual. Because if parents select a suitable and excellent mate for their children on Saturday, they can arrange the matched pair to date on Sunday.
Although the matching rate is quite low, lots of parents head to the Marriage Market in People’s Square in the hope of seizing an appropriate mate for their unmarried children. It is said that some parents have been there for three or four years. This reflects the contradiction: on one hand, most of the parents are anxious and desperate to find the mate for their children as early as possible, and any delay of an extra day would make it difficult for them to sleep or eat; on the other hand, they are also willing to spend a lot of time picking and choosing, listing all kinds of requirements, and are always looking for a better one.


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