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Parents bring along a single sheet of paper containing vital statistics on their child — age, occupation, education, and property ownership are all musts.Other parents peruse the offerings, and the different parties hash out the specifics of what they are looking for in a future son- or daughter-in-law.The booming marriage market has even sparked a cottage industry of agents, who offer to save parents a day in the hot sun by posting notices on their behalf. Gu said he makes around 4,000 Yuan (about 0) per month from displaying laminated advertisements in a heavily trafficked area of the park.Some of these brokers charge a premium for access to a phone directory-like notebook with the contact information of unmarried locals. Each parent pays a fee of 100 Yuan (about ) for a six-month posting on his board.Over the past decade, the northern corner of this park has become an unofficial, open-air "marriage market" — a popular meeting place for retired parents to find partners for their adult children, who are typically in their 20s and 30s.
Sometimes, parents post ads for their children without their knowledge."It's a really chatty environment, but you can sense the eagerness of these mums and dads by how often quarrels break out in the parents' side of the market," Gu said.But these seniors weren't waiting to take a tai chi class or to make small talk over chess.They were sweating it out in the midsummer heat with a singular, all-important mission: finding a spouse for their adult offspring.On a sweltering Saturday in late August, a steady stream of senior citizens paraded through Shanghai's People's Park.
Armed with colorful umbrellas and stools, they set up camp along the labyrinth of walkways, rarely looking up from their newspapers or knitting yarn.