Shanghaiist had long heard whispers of grandparents and parents heading to People’s Square at weekends and attempting to match-make their children but, assuming that it was merely half a dozen old people sat around talking, didn’t think it was anything to write home about. We were wrong. Very wrong.
Last Saturday afternoon, whilst aimlessly wandering through the park next to Barbarossa, we noticed a large crowd of people across the pond that appeared bigger than your average group of Ma Jiang spectators. Our interest piqued, and being an
overly curious person investigative journalist, we decided to take a closer look.
We found around a couple of hundred people clutching posters detailing the man or woman available – everything from vital statistics to education history to current income – or little notebooks where they were taking notes of potential candidates. Many of the posters featured passport photos and most had phone numbers, although it seems dubious that this was being done with the knowledge of the advertised person.
The crowd and the bits of paper reminded us of a stock exchange, albeit a slightly more sedate one given the age of the participants. Most of the posters were advertising people in the 25-30 age range – because obviously if you’re that age and (shock, horror) single your parents are bound to worry – yet there was a distinct lack of people from this age group there in person. Given that most of the old folks there were effectively pimping, there was also a disappointing absence of long fur coats, huge collars, and bling.
Still, if arranging your dates through your potential sweetheart’s grandparent or parent is your thing, there seemed to be something for everyone there – even an overseas corner. If you prefer to meet your girlfriend/boyfriend before you meet the family then this meeting of matchmakers is still a great spectacle and well worth checking out.