Looking for Someone to Hang Out: Parents hang their kids’ dates on a clothesline to find them a mate
Singletons in China are hung out to dry by their matchmaking parents, who tout details about them on a clothesline in order to get them married.
The bizarre dating ritual takes place at People’s Park in Shanghai, where parents gather information about their adult sons and daughters in hopes of finding them a suitable life partner.
The ads contain information such as the child’s age, height, level of education, occupation and income.
Good on paper: Parents in Shanghai design laminated ads to promote their sons and daughters to potential partners
Stories of Young Women: Parents looking for the daughter-in-law of their dreams will find a selection of potential marriage partners on display
With some of the ads attached to small packages, some parents seem to find it difficult to capture their child’s qualities on just one A4 sheet
The typical requirement for a prospective groom is that he be a “responsible male with a stable income” or someone “owning a home and a car.”
Women, on the other hand, are required to “be friendly, have a steady job, and preferably have a bachelor’s degree.”
The excited parents then scan the dating ads and chat with other parents to try and match their son or daughter with a potential spouse.
Something for the weekend? The matchmaking parents gather on Saturdays and Sundays to review the city’s singletons
High Expectations: Advertisers typically want wives who are “lovely, have a steady job, and preferably have a bachelor’s degree.”
When it comes to husbands, the ideal candidate is a “responsible man with a steady income” or someone “who owns a home and a car.”
Limited Opportunities: Enthusiastic moms and dads believe they can help their child find a life partner by chatting with like-minded parents
Key Stats: The ads include thoughtful details like the son or daughter’s height, job… and salary
One parent, Ma Jianhua, 55, who was trying to find a wife for his son, told China Daily, “I first came here six months ago after reading about the park’s matchmaking activities in the newspaper.
“I’ve been coming here almost every weekend since then. On days when I can’t make it, my wife fills in for me.
“My son is too busy to date girls so I’m here on his behalf.
“Although my son and I have different preferences, I can at least narrow down some of the girls who fit his needs by talking to the girl’s parents. After all, a woman’s manner and character are often influenced by her parents.‘
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Well, it’s cheaper than a personals ad: the park’s green spaces provide a healthy environment for dating
Ma said his 28-year-old son is looking for a caring girl between 24 and 26 with a bachelor’s degree.
So far he hasn’t had any luck because although he has introduced his son to several girls, none have made it.
He said: “I’m not going to give up, as a father I don’t feel comfortable doing nothing for my son.
“I know very well that all kinds of people come together here, but it’s a good platform. Nowhere else in the city can you find so many candidates.
“Also, I think matchmaking works. Some of the parents I used to see are no longer here. I think they must have found someone.”
Tough Competition: Singleton numbers may be high, but for these parents, that’s an advantage