Parents can also hang up the advertisements as well as placing them on noticeboards, image courtesy of Guangzhou Daily
Guangzhou Daily reported yesterday that marriage corners (征婚角), noticeboards on which parents pin advertisements espousing the eligibility of their adult son or daughter for marriage, have been springing up throughout Shenzhen.
Marriage corners have also appeared outside the offices of prestigious companies such as Huawei and ZTE and the well-known marriage corner on Lianhua Mountain is still thriving. This particular approach to matchmaking could grow in popularity, considering TV matchmaking shows such as “If You Are the One” fell afoul of China’s morality campaign.
However, a reporter from the paper discovered on Sunday that a marriage corner that had appeared outside the Desai Building in Nanshan District’s Technology Park had been removed by authorities. The manager of a nearby kiosk at Exit D of Kejiyuan metro station told the reporter that authorities had removed it because they feared it would harm the city’s image.
But they continue to spring up. A ZTE employee identified as Xiao Wei told reporters that a cluster of mothers had appeared outside the company with print-outs listing their daughters’ credentials along with photographs. However, ZTE has its own internal system that helps employees meet and get to know each other.
Reporters also spoke to Mr. Pan, 50, near the marriage corner at Lianhua Mountain. He explained that his 30 year-old son had just finished a PhD at Shenzhen University, was good looking, and had a stable teaching career ahead of him. When asked whether his son agreed to him being there, Mr. Pan chuckled and said: “When I find the right person, of course he’ll agree.”
The success rate of the marriage corner on Lianhua Mountain and the frequency of scams were cited as reasons for not using online dating sites.
However, scamming in the matchmaking game is nothing new.
The Chinese proverb “To look at flowers while riding on horseback” (走马观花), which means to gain a superficial understanding about something after taking only a cursory glance, is one that intermediate students of the language often encounter. It has its origins in a legend about a matchmaking scam.
In the legend, two sets of parents are struggling to marry off their offspring. The girl has an ugly nose and the boy has a lame leg so they enlist the help of a hongniang (红娘), a female matchmaker in ancient China.
Aware of the problems, the hongniang introduces the couple to each other while the boy is riding on a horse and the girl is smelling a flower. After glancing at each other, both families accept the marriage and only find out later that they failed to get a good enough look at their future partner. You can see the scene portrayed in this cartoon.
Lets hope today’s parents are not desperate enough to exaggerate their kids’ credentials and downplay their weaknesses.