Headline Oct 17, 2014/


Although  40,000  people gathered  -just recently- on two consecutive beautiful mornings, for   Shanghai's Matchmaking Expo-

Yu Bin didn't expect to find a  wife  among among them..

Mr Yu, a  26-year old policeman, describes himself as conservative and is looking for a woman with  ''traditional virtues''.

His attendance at the expo,  the city's largest yet, is a long shot-

He would prefer a marriage set up by colleagues or by his parents. It worked for them 30 years ago, he says.

On the other side of the vast expo park,

Fancy Huang is arguing with her mother. At 25, Ms Huang  (who chose her English name herself)  is two years shy of the dreaded age at which she will be branded a   ''shengnu''  or   *left over women*.

Her cousins are all married, so her parents are applying pressure.

Ms Huang's mother is stewing.  ''Sometimes my daughter says she would rather buy a flat by herself, and live alone,''  she says.  ''It's so bizarre''.

Mr Yu and  Ms Huang are just two of the thousands of young people trying to navigate China's modern marriage market.

At the expo there is no shortage of assistance.

On one stage, a glamorous woman in a fuchsia minidress is hosting a public matchmaking session.

A bachelor comes onstage and sings a song to  12  female contestants  who hold up paddles with either a smiley or a sad face. Elsewhere, mass speed-dating events are under way.

Dating agencies vie for singles to sign up. Their websites are wildly popular in China.

One such site, Jiayuan, is listed on America's  NASDAQ stockmarket.

In the past 30 years the Chinese search for a spouse has,  like so much else, been totally transformed.

Confucian thought emphasised a  match's significance  for society rather than for the individuals involved.

Though formal arranged marriages were  banned   in 1950,  parents and colleagues continued well into the new century to help couples pair up (some as a matter of fact, still do). 

The recent decline of such practices, especially in cities, in favour of choosing your own mate, has coincided with huge demographic shifts.

China's skewed birth rate  -118 boys to every 100 girls-  means that there will be surplus of about  24 million bachelors by 2020.

And women's  socio-economic freedom makes them pickier when choosing a husband.

Mr Yu, the traditionalist, remains hopeful:

''We just haven't been in the right place at the right time.,'' he says of his putative partner. Other bachelors are less patient.

Just later, the  ''Multi-Millionaire Seeking Spouses in Ten Cities Show''  launched in the southern city of Guangzhou.

Eleven Chinese millionaires are paying a luxury matchmaking agency  5 million Yuan  ( $ 790,000 )  for assistance.

One of them, a billionaire, had some very particular requirements:
.- suitable candidates should be aged 20-26.
.- weigh less than 50 kg  (110 lb)
.- and have no past personal involvement and  history.

So far, as it is known,  more than  5,000 young women applied.

With respectful and caring  dedication to all Singletons in China and the rest of the world. Time enough to learn from this writing: 

''' For you have only just met '''

With respectful dedication to all the Students of the world. See Ya all on !WOW! the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' The Updraught '''

'''Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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