Are you married ? Not yet?
Let's go to the market in Shanghai!
No, not to the Shanghai Stock Exchange, 5th largest stock market in the World, but for "second-hand marriage"...It is a perfect place for you!
Sunday morning undoubtedly you should visit a People's Park, where you can find a marriage market with thousands of parents desperately looking for wives and husbands for their children. The criteria of finding the right match may be based upon age, height, job, income, education, family values, Chinese zodiac sign and personality.
Parents create a sort of advertisement of their own children, writing all information on a small piece of paper or sometimes on the umbrellas. Some of them come every week and walk around chatting with other parents to see if there is an ideal candidate fulfilling all previously determined criteria. When the children reached a certain age, say 25 years, parents become extremely anxious and insist on finding the spouses as soon as possible. The marriage market at People's Square has existed since 2004.
At the beginning of the 20th century, when China was ruled by the Qing Dynasty, the parents of the children had total control. Before marriage, young couples usually did not have any contact with each other, and the concept of dating was largely unknown. Parents arranged marriages with the help of a professional matchmaker. The decision belonged only to them and the young people had no say in choosing their partners.
In modern China however this is not the case anymore and young Chinese people are allowed to choose their own partners. Fortunately, the Chinese women now have greater access to many areas of life than before. Well-educated women in China with established careers are in less of a hurry to get married. They have more options than women in past generations and are not afraid to put their career first. They are more courageous or some might argue, more selfish and materialistic. They know what they want and they try to pursue their dreams. Their main objective is not only to bring up the crowds of children, wait for the husband and be his "slave". This change in marriage ideology gives women more power within a traditionally male-dominated society. Now more women seek to find a responsible man with personal integrity instead of choosing a partner just because he can assure financial security to the family.
It should be noted that in China, marriage is still considered as a good investment, aiming to the continuation of lineage. Xianqi liangmu, which is the Chinese ideal of a wise wife and a good mother, is the goal pursued by the majority of Chinese married women. Surrounding requires them to be pragmatic. Their human happiness is not paramount in the Chinese culture.
In China the men still continue to manage the country, but then again, it is up to the Chinese women whether they bring up their sons to be macho or not.