Interesting story in the Guardian on the pressure on China’s youth to get married. More on this later in the module…
Next week’s lunar new year is China’s biggest festival. It can also be a major headache for those returning home without a potential spouse. Pressure on young adults to settle down goes into overdrive, as gathering family members begin the inquisition and line up possible candidates.
Taking a boyfriend or girlfriend home is a fast way to curb the speculation, which is why Li, like other twentysomethings, has hired a fake partner through an online agency.
“My parents want me to get married by 30,” the office worker explained. “Bringing a ‘boyfriend’ back home simply means I get less hassle from relatives and my parents will stop worrying about my romantic life.”
Li will pay him between 500 and 700 yuan (£51-£72) a day – they are still haggling – to accompany her from Beijing to Hunan to meet her parents.
“I don’t need him to stay long, just one night, New Year’s Eve, and he can just say work is busy and he has to go back the next day, like [the guy I hired] last year,” she said.