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Two suicides at Guangzhou, Shenzhen universities within 24 hours

Posted: 10/23/2013 10:00 am

A student jumped to his death from the 15th floor of his dorm building in the small hours of Monday, and a 19 year-old jumped to her death on Guangzhou University’s campus at around 6 a.m. Tuesday (yesterday). Police have ruled out foul play in both cases.

Police arrive at the scene in this image snapped on the camera phone of another student, via Shenzhen Evening News

Mr. Zhuang, a senior (year 4) finance major at Shenzhen University, died instantly after landing on the concrete below his dorm building, Shenzhen Evening News reported yesterday. Police said there were no other wounds on his body that gave grounds for suspicion. The university pledged to introduce the necessary measures to prevent a repeat of the incident, such as psychological counselling.

A cleaner said she saw a young man take an elevator up from the 12th floor of the fenghuai (风槐) dorm building where Zhuang lived around the time he is said to have jumped, but she didn’t think anything of it at the time.

Thousands of these, the accepted image of bereavement on Sina Weibo, were posted in reaction to the deaths.

He did not share a dorm with anybody from his course, so both his classmates and his roommates claimed not to have known him well enough to have seen it coming. However, many took to Sina Weibo to post candles in tribute to Zhuang.

Then yesterday, just over 24 hours after the incident, a witness dialled 120 after a female student was found to have jumped off a building at Guangzhou University’s campus. She was dead when paramedics arrived. After forensic examination, police ruled that the death of the 19 year-old Dongguan girl was a suicide, Guangzhou Daily reported on its microblog.

The cause is being investigated.

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among China’s youth as they face the prospect of graduating into an unprecedentedly competitive job market, a deeply inhospitable housing market and limited marriage prospects.

The scene at which the Guangzhou University student was found dead, image courtesy of Nandu Daily

In September, City College of Dongguan University of Technology had 5,000 freshmen sign contracts stipulating that the university would not be held responsible in the event of suicide or injury.



Huawei, ZTE among sites for “marriage corners” in Shenzhen

Posted: 08/28/2013 11:19 am

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.


Man shows up at girlfriend’s graduation ceremony in Shenzhen to propose to her

Posted: 07/2/2013 7:00 am

Overwhelmed with emotion

It’s official, romance is not dead. This year’s graduates may be entering the toughest job market in the country’s history but it’s not all doom and gloom out there.

A student at Shenzhen University got the surprise of her life during her graduation ceremony at the weekend when her boyfriend showed up and proposed to her. The photos were put on Sina Weibo by a user named SB71 and were forwarded by several of the city’s major microblogs.

Photos show the man arriving at the ceremony all suited and booted before ceremoniously proposing to her in one of the most public ways possible. Bystanders can be seen applauding and taking photographs.

He’s given himself a lot to live up to

After posting some harrowing stories over the weekend, The Nanfang is glad to bring you some good news for a change.
And as Heath Ledger showed us in “10 Things I Hate About You,” you’ve gotta be prepared to make an ass of yourself for the special person in your life:


Beggars in Shenzhen living secret lives of luxury? Some say it’s true

Posted: 04/10/2013 10:00 am

Wu Limin of the Internal and Judicial Affairs Committee of the Shenzhen People’s Congress has warned shoppers in the Dongmen area of Luohu District to be careful about giving money to beggars, Southern Metropolis Daily reports.

Wu’s remarks come after members of the Dongmen Street Law Enforcement Team claimed in the aftermath of a six-month investigation that many of the beggars were not homeless and even lived lives of luxury thanks to gullible members of the public.

Despite many appearing disabled and having elaborate back stories of poverty and illness, members of the team claim that a significant portion of the beggars are not genuine. Moreover, they are often a nuisance to local merchants and shoppers due to their forcefulness. Local party committee secretary Luo Zhiwei said something had to be done.

One beggar who caught the law enforcement team’s attention with his forcefulness was a middle-aged man who was often seen begging with a disabled child near Sun Plaza. One day, team members followed him and saw him put the child in the back of a white van with other disabled children and speed away. The man has also been seen begging in the upmarket Futian Fumin Roadside.

Wu Limin urged relevant government departments to conduct a formal investigation into the beggars in the area, adding that considering the volume of traffic, some may have higher earnings than even himself.

Yi Songguo, professor of Sociology at Shenzhen University, added that, regardless of whether the beggars were genuine, they should not be allowed to become a public menace. Wu fears that they may be sullying the city’s image.

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