Desperate Chinese parents gather here to advertise and find a spouse for their unmarried child - The Coverage
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Desperate Chinese parents gather here to advertise and find a spouse for their unmarried child

It comes to no surprise that people in many Asian countries are postponing marriage to a later age, especially for those who reside in countries like China and Hong Kong. These major developing countries are already competitive on its own, putting many of its young adults to focus on their careers and aspirations.

The average marrying age for males is now 34.5 and 32 for females. This is a big change from 2010 when the average marrying age for males was 31 years old and 28 years old for women according to the national census.

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So when it comes to an age when it’s far too late for many of these young adults to get married, their parents tend to become more agitated and scared of that fact. Questions like, “Is my son/ daughter going to be married?” or “Will my son/daughter be able to support me when I retired?”

These anxious parents then sit by parks with their water bottles, umbrellas and large A4 papers to advertise their unmarried child for a spouse. The most infamous of these parks is Shanghai People’s Park, where almost 500 senior citizens and parents would go by the park daily.

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A picture would be provided publicly but their child’s credentials such as properties, income and what not are what’s important in the market. This is ensure potential parents who are also looking for a spouse for their unmarried children that the particular individual advertise has got what it takes to be the one.

Pictures of the parent’s child will only be exchanged only if there is a serious interest by another parent. Men’s value in the market are mostly based on their income, properties and appearances while the women’s value in the market for men is more on their character such as responsible, integrity and independent.

March 17, 2012, Shanghai, China - Young women browse rows of the classified strung up at the wedding market at People's Square. The market has been in operation since 2004 on the site of the former racecourse. The registration fee for a marriage broker is 100 CNY (approx $16) while a five month advertisment costs 20 CNY (about $3.20). (Dave Tacon/Polaris)

March 17, 2012, Shanghai, China – Young women browse rows of the classified strung up at the wedding market at People’s Square. The market has been in operation since 2004 on the site of the former racecourse. The registration fee for a marriage broker is 100 CNY (approx $16) while a five month advertisment costs 20 CNY (about $3.20). (Dave Tacon/Polaris)

Most women would look for a man who has twice the income of theirs as they believe that the men should be the one providing instead of the women. However, men do prefer their spouse to earn approximately the same figure as they do.

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These markets are becoming extremely popular among developing cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu and Nanjing. Don’t be fooled as the park’s atmosphere may feel like a wet market but it sure isn’t one as the commodities sold here are far more different than any market in the world.

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