The story appears on

Page A2

May 27, 2012

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro

Matchmaking on a massive scale

SYLVIA Wang, 24, queued alongside other young women at a "Mask and Afternoon Tea" speed dating event yesterday, looking to meet Mr Right.

Wang is among 20,000 singletons attending Shanghai's largest matchmaking event this year, being held over the weekend at the Expo Park.

To add an air of mystery, they are encouraged to wear masquerade masks, though can remove them for dates.

Like many women attending, Wang, who lives in Hongkou District, was accompanied by her mother.

Wang, who obtained her Master's degree in the United States and works in futures trading, said she had come at her mother's insistence, and that they sought different things from a Mr Right.

"My mother put an apartment and car as requirements, while I hope he shares the same interests and outlook as me," she said.

Wang's mother was worried about her daughter's marriage prospects.

"I've seen too many girls left over because they hadn't worried about time passing," she said. "I don't want my daughter to go down that path."

Organizers said they had achieved an almost even split of the sexes, with only 300 more female participants than male. However, yesterday there seemed many more women than men.

Wang was not impressed with the event. "Organization is chaotic and the whole thing is very commercial," she said.

Indeed, singletons seeking love were confronted by an array of sales stands touting everything from credit cards and apartments to plastic surgery.

Participants are admitted free, though matchmaking companies organizing the speed dating are keen to sign them up.

Matchmaking agency staff were busy trying to entice passing males to take part in dating games. "We have a lot of beauties, but need more men, so don't miss out," one agency worker called out as she distributed flyers.

Ye Peiyi, a 28-year-old communications engineer, said he had also attended last year's event in Songjiang District.

"I just wanted to try my luck again," he said. "My parents give me a lot of pressure, although I am not concerned," he said.

The organizers also set up message boards for singles and parents to post information for potential suitors.

Among those scanning the boards was Ye Jianqi, carefully taking photographs of candidates' profiles. He explained that he was doing this for friends too shy to attend.

An estimated 8,000 parents or friends of participants are attending the event, said organizers. Each is charged 50 yuan (US$8) to limit their numbers.

Many parents even attend alone. One mother, surnamed Liu, took an opportunity to bombard a young man with questions as they sat on the same park bench taking a break.

"What's your job? Where did you graduate? How old are you?" she asked.

Another mother said her 29-year-old civil servant daughter did not know that she was attending on her behalf.

"My daughter is excellent at her work, but lacks awareness and sense in this regard," she said, and then asked the reporter if she could introduce any good men.

Zhou Juemin, director of the Shanghai Matchmakers Association, said parents should respect children's freedom and noted that more women are taking the initiative in finding romance.

"Nowadays, women are encouraged to act courageously in pursuing love," Zhou said.

The event finishes today.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend