5,000 turn up at 'meet and mate' mega event
By Pan Haixia (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-10-24 05:13
SHANGHAI: Some were shy, others bold. Some played the waiting game, others
sent their mothers to stand in and scout around.
The curtain came up on the eagerly-awaited largest
matchmaking party in China on Saturday evening and the turnout did not
Pairs of single men and women talk in
Shanghai's Zhongshan Park on October 22,
About 5,000 single men and women converged on Zhongshan Park in search of
their soulmates for the event billed as "meet and mate."
The criteria for entry was strict: Only white-collar workers with at least a
college education and aged between 20 and 45.
The 4-hour party, which started at 4 pm, was spiced up with a series of
activities like the selection of the queen and king of the night, 8-minute speed
dating and various games which featured couples.
To add to the romantic atmosphere, each participant was given a rose upon
entrance, to be given to the "right" person.
"If you are too shy to approach someone, you could ask
'Cupids' to deliver the flower or a message," said Yu Jian from the organizing
committee, some of whose members were ready with arrow in tow.
A pair of attendees
play a game during the mass match-making activity.
But more practical, according to Yu, was a booklet prepared for each
"We have details of all the people who signed up. If one is interested in
somebody, but doesn't have a chance to talk, he or she can give a call or send
an e-mail later."
He Qu, a young entrepreneur, saw it as a networking exercise apart from a
romantic liaison: "It's a good opportunity to make friends even if I cannot find
my Ms Right."
Henny Xu, a 23-year-old bank clerk, said she was pleased with the event: "A
big party like this is quite an effective way to seek partners. I can meet so
many people in a short time."
But it was not all young people at the party. Yu Su'e, who has a 32-year-old
civil-servant daughter, said: "I came in place of her. She was too busy to
Yu was well equipped, shooting pictures on a digital came to show "suitable
men" to her daughter.
If there was one glitch, it was gender "inequality" there were far more women
than men, as Yu found out the men had too much on their hands.
In explanation, Jiang Ning, from the Shanghai Association of Matchmaking
Services, said men, typically, were more reluctant to attend such events.
"Compared with women who want to get married after reaching a certain age, men
tend to think their careers are more important," Jiang said, adding that the
men-women ratio at the party was about 1:2.
While the women were complaining about the shortage of men, many men were
grumbling about meeting too many women.
"As the old saying goes, too many directions take you nowhere," said Rex Pu,
a local man in his 30s.
But one thing everyone agreed upon: A good time was had by all.
(China Daily 10/24/2005 page1)