LOOKING FOR A PARTNER? THE DATING MARKETPLACE: Leishi Park's secret
The scene is Lieshi Park, otherwise known as Martyrs Park, and the wind is gently lifting the breeze on the neatly typed up, visible signs that reveal someone's fortune, their educational background and their honesty in love and commitment.
This is the 'dating marketplace' at the park, opposite the main lake and the new gleaming, lakeside McDonalds. Hardback signs hang from trees as mothers and grand parents drift in between potential parents-in-law as they stroll past the tired trees trying in vein to 'sell' their offspring to anyone who'll take them. This is the older generation still trying to match-make, push their kids, to find love and, more importantly in China, security and wealth. Very few young people were there and those who did glance over were quickly intercepted by the grannies and 'ayi' who weren't shy in pushing their own child's abilities.
Is this a further symptom of an older generation unable to cope with a rapidly changing, modernising Chinese society, in which careers and money-making come ahead of settling down? Or is it a novel idea of finding a solution to an endemic problem? Or perhaps it's just the older generation getting involved in the affairs of the young, again. Either way, it's an odd but fascinating concept and anyone passing by, glancing over, be warned... you may be persuaded into meeting a potential bride or groom!
China remains as perplexing as ever to the casual foreigner and, even more so, Chinese solutions to problems even more interesting, to say the least! Find out more about Lieshi Park here.