A definite must on the top things to see in Shanghai is the marriage market in People’s Square gardens. I am familiar with the concept of arranged marriages but never done so publicly.
Parents set up an umbrella with a piece of paper taped to it which outlines their offspring’s particulars. It was basically ages, height, weight, qualifications and current salary – all the important stuff for a good marriage!!!
Interestingly very few had a photograph. I suspect that looks don’t matter quite as much to the parent as the other factors.
Another crucial detail is the astrological details as this is important in finding a good match for the Chinese.
It was fascinating but it obviously works as there were hundreds of umbrellas and crowds around certain ones!
Obviously all the signs were in Chinese so we couldn’t read them but one did say in English at the bottom ‘willing to go on a blind date with a foreigner’ (how brave)
Judging by the dates some of the offspring were in their 30s or 40s and you felt a little sense of desperation on the part of the parents that they were here at all.
Apparently most of these parents do not have the permission of their children to do this and it has been described as match.com meets Farmer’s market.
Marriage is very important in Chinese culture particularly after the one child policy. You only get one shot at perpetuating your lineage!
It was good to know about this place and who knows we might invest in a couple of umbrellas of our own one day.