The Marriage Mart: Soulmate, Please

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The Marriage Mart: Soulmate, Please
Parents hunt for children's future mates on Sundays in the park.

marriage martAh, spring in Beijing. A sea of children, runners, and the like in the park. And an overabundance of elderly, each clutching a piece of paper of vital stats, approaching one another with hopeful expectations. This is the scene the Asia Times recently reported as they investigated the growing marriage mart trend, a collection of senior citizens who gather in the park, hoping to find matches for their grown, single children.

From the piece:
"'Boy - 28 yrs, has own apartment in Fuxing district, no mortgage, Communist Party member,' advertises the piece of paper offered up by one bespectacled father."

And:
"'Rat preferred.'" one of the posters announces somewhat bafflingly to the uninitiated. What is being asked for is however, not a long-tailed, sharp-clawed rodent but a groom born in the "year of the rat" according to the Chinese zodiac."

Really, this is simply a more organized form of nosy, grandchildren-deprived U.S. mothers. I bet they'd dive at the chance to partake in a mass matchmaking session like this.

But things don't always go smoothly, as the piece reports:
"The parents had seen a photograph of the girl and told Lance that she looked like a super model. 'But in fact when I met her she was the exact opposite of a model. She was rather large and very below-average looking,' he says. It transpired that the girl's parents were in the habit of showing off someone else's photo to lure in prospective matches."

Let's hope that doesn't happen too often. Imagine how the poor girl must feel???

Check out the full story here. Totally worth the click.

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