In China, matchmaking parents hang single people out to dry, advertising details about them on a clothesline in an attempt to marry them off.
The strange dating ritual takes place in Shanghai’s People’s Park, where parents gather information about their adult sons and daughters in the hopes of finding them an eligible life partner.
The ads include details such as the child’s age, height, educational background, profession and income.
Good on paper: Shanghai parents prepare laminated ads to promote their sons and daughters to potential partners
Tales of Young Wives: Parents looking for the daughter-in-law of their dreams will find a selection of potential wives on display
With some of the advertisements plastered on small packages, it seems that some parents are finding it difficult to limit their children’s qualities to a single A4 sized sheet.
The typical requirement for a prospective groom is that he be a “responsible man with a stable income” or someone “who has an apartment and a car.”
Women, for their part, must be “kind, have a stable job and preferably have a bachelor’s degree.”
Eager parents then scan dating ads and chat with other parents in an attempt to match their son or daughter with a potential spouse.
Anything for the weekend? Matchmaking parents meet on Saturdays and Sundays to survey the city’s singles.
High Expectations: Advertisers generally look for wives who are “nice, have a stable job, and preferably have a bachelor’s degree.”
When it comes to husbands, the ideal candidate is a “responsible man with a stable income” or someone “who has an apartment and a car.”
Narrow down the options: Enthusiastic mothers and fathers believe they can help their children find a life partner by talking to like-minded parents
Vital Statistics: Ads include thoughtful details like son or daughter’s height, job… and salary.
A father, Ma Jianhua, 55, who was trying to find a wife for his son, told China Daily: ‘I came here for the first time six months ago after reading in the newspaper about matchmaking activities in the park.
‘Since then I come here almost every weekend. On the days I can’t attend, my wife replaces me.
‘My son is too busy to date girls, so I’m here on his behalf.
‘Although my son and I have different tastes, at least I can find some of the girls who meet his requirements by talking to the girl’s parents. After all, a woman’s manners and character are often influenced by her parents.‘
Love letters: Parents don’t have much to draw on, but as one parent said, “It’s a good platform”
Well, it’s cheaper than a personal ad: the park’s green spaces provide a healthy environment for partner hunting.
Ma said her 28-year-old son was looking for a loving girl between 24 and 26 years old, with a bachelor’s degree.
So far he has not had any luck, because although he has introduced his son to several girls, none have passed the test.
He said: ‘I won’t give up, as a father I won’t feel comfortable if I don’t do something for my son.
‘I know very well that there are all kinds of people here, but it is a good platform. Nowhere else in the city can you find so many candidates.
‘Plus, I think the pairing works. Some of the parents she used to see are no longer here. I think they must have found someone.
Tough competition: The number of only children may be high, but for these parents, that’s an advantage