Modern Matchmaking In China

Today I posted some photos taken in Beijing this summer on my Facebook page.

The photos brought back some wonderful or interesting memories. The one I would like to share here is about modern matchmaking in China.

I know matchmaking has a long tradition in China and other Asian countries. In the old days parents arranged marriages for their children. It’s not uncommon that husbands and wives met for the first time on their wedding days.

Matchmaking still exists in China today, not to that extreme as in the old days, but in some organized ways nevertheless. I didn’t realize that until I visited the famous Tiantan Park (literally The Temple of Heaven) in Beijing on June 18, 2010.

Tiantan Park is a very popular tourist attraction in Beijing. Like most parks in China, it is also a popular place for local residents to gather for exercises and networking. What impressed me the most was the number of local residents in the Park who were doing all sorts of exercises and practices – traditional or modern dancing, tai chi, Qigong, singing, playing instruments, chess and cards, or simply chatting, etc.

My cousin who took us to the Park goes there every day to practice a Chinese music instrument with an instructor and a group of students. I talked about her in a previous post – Best place to live for senior citizens.

As we were walking around the Park, I was curious to stop by here and there to watch different groups of people gathered together doing different things. 

Then in one place I saw people sitting on the curbs with a sheet of paper in front of them. I thought they were job seekers looking for employment. But to my surprise, my cousin said they were parents of singles trying to find the right match for their children.

Parents, sometimes without their adult children’s knowledge, put their children’s photos and personal information on display, in the hope that they can find a mate for their children. When I realized what they were doing, a sense of sadness came over me. I was also touched by the parents who will sacrifice everything for their children.

Because of the one child per family policy in China, kids are very spoiled in China. They are the princesses and princes in the families. They are pushed hard to do well in schools, sometimes at the expense of developing a well rounded person with good social and communications skills. Some become loners and are dependent on their parents for living, even though they are adults. They simply don’t have the skills and abilities to live on their own. Their parents will try everything they can to help their children find a mate.

Parents in China are very involved in their children’s lives. They do and sacrifice everything they can to help them find a mate, buy an apartment, take care of grandchildren, and more.