The most difficult Spring Festival question: When are you getting married?

CCTV News

Photo: CFP Photo: CFP

About 80 percent of Chinese people who have reached marriageable age are under pressure from their parents to get married, according to a report. As Spring Festival, an occasion for family reunions, approaches, young people returning home from their jobs in the city will face another round of scrutiny from older relatives about whether or not they will get married soon, ChinaNews.com reported.

Report on Situation of Unmarried People Being Pushed into Marriage in China was released recently by China Youth Concern Committee for the Advancement of Health and Physical Culture Development.

The report was based on the Committee’s research, which surveyed 1,000 unmarried people under 40 years old from each city across China.

It showed that people aged between 25 and 35 years old are under the most pressure with 86 percent being pushed. Even 3 percent of youth who have not reached marriageable age are not immune from such pressure.

Different ways that parents across the country use to push their children

The usual words parents use to urge their children are “you are not young”, “your parents are getting older”, and “My friend’s daughter gave birth to a baby and the baby is so cute”, etc.

Parents in Southwest China’s Sichuan province make a good use of siege tactics by encouraging relatives to join them to persuade their children.

Shanghai parents are some of the most insistent, as they persistently nag their children.

In comparison, parents from the southwestern province of Guangxi do it in a simple and direct way. They are excellent in arranging blind dates for their children.

Parents in East China’s Jiangsu province are the epitome of pushy parents. Nearly twenty percent of them push their children more than ten times a year, the highest frequency across the country.

Their efforts are effective. The number of blind dates that young Jiangsu people participate in also ranks high in the country list. Some 19 percent of respondents participate more than 10 times in a year.

Hard to find a partner in a narrow life circle

There are reasons behind Chinese parents’ efforts. According to data from Jiangsu civil affairs department, the average age of first marriage for locals is 32.4, and 30.4 for capital Nanjing. In contrast, for the elder generation, their children were already in primary school when they reached 30.

But young people feel wronged, as they believe a narrow life circle is the biggest hurdle for them to find a partner. More than three quarters argue that they travel between home and work place every day and barely have a chance to meet members of the opposite sex.

Even if they have a girlfriend or boyfriend, it is not easy to get married. 68 percent of people think their “partner or partner’s family is overly demanding”, which leads to breakups.

Communication instead of escape

Facing such pressure, 87 percent of respondents said they understand their parents. But only 28 percent choose to talk with their parents on the issue. More than 70 percent keep silent or escape the topic.

An official with Jiangsu civil affairs department said that communication is the best way to respond to parents’ push.

Young people in fast-paced cities face more pressure than their elder generation and it is reasonable to marry late, the official said, adding that young people should explain the situation to their parents and show that they make an effort in looking for a partner.

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Story by China Daily.