In Chinese culture, the idea of settling down and having a family is a huge deal. The pressure from parents is so much, a myriad of rent-a-partner sites are appearing all over the internet.
And they’re not the regular dating and hookup sites we’re accustomed to like Tinder or even Grindr. In China, these ‘partner renting’ sites offer eligible bachelors and bachelorettes for rent just for social events and family reunions – contract and all.
No intimacy is included as part of these awkward business transactions. It’s not about sex or even paying for some company, it’s all about showing up with a nice person to your side to avoid social backlash.
Listings on sites like zuyou68 include the person’s height, academic qualifications, marital status – and even their horoscope.
Typical prices range from some 1,000 Yuan ($145) to 3,000 Yuan ($430 US) per day.
We’ve all heard of the famous marriage market in Shanghai haven’t we? The obsession to find the ideal partner is so present in China, there’s a marriage market held at The People’s Park every weekend. Chinese parents go there to promote their children as suitable partners even way before they have the legal age to buy a beer.
Parents write on a piece of paper the child’s age, height, social and economic status and put it on display for others to see. This tradition has attracted lots of criticism from children’s rights activist groups and other organizations around the world, and it inspired a recent viral campaign by cosmetics company SK-II.
And now another recent viral video sums up the angst of pretty much every millennial in China. The Shanghai’s Rainbow Chamber Singers have created a delightful piece titled ‘What I Do Is For Your Own Good’ which showcases the all too familiar hell of visiting the parents on the holidays.
The hilarious song describes perfectly the woes of the average Chinese millennial when facing the judgmental and nagging inquiries of their friends and relatives every time their love life comes into the conversation. The hilarious lyrics include some gems like the following:
You should lose some weight.
How much is your salary?
He sure is going to be the next Mark Zuckerberg!
Even if this kind of pressure is not so harsh in the Western Hemisphere, after watching the whole video I couldn’t help feeling that we’re not that different after all.