Student - February 11, 2016

Love is no private affair for Chinese PhDs

Lieke de Kwant

Marrying is a must in China. If still single at the age of 25, one can expect interference from family members. Chinese PhD candidates in Wageningen tell their tale in this week's Resource magazine.

They describe something that is unheard of in Europe: parents and grandparents gathering in so-called love corners in parks to read the profiles of Chinese singles, searching for the perfect match for their offspring. The notes state things like the education level, job and income of the singles, and whether they own a house. If the elders find good prospects, they pass these details on to their (grand) childeren and urge them to get in contact.

Eight Wageningen PhD candidates - anonymously - tell Resource columnist and editor Stijn van Gils about their experience with this phenomenon. Especially during the Chinese New Year celebrations, when many Chinese students go home for holidays, they encounter these issues. One student tells Resource he dreads his parents' coupling activities because he is gay and not looking for a woman. Another PhD is quite okay with it: 'My parents know me best, so they know what's best for me.'

Resource vlogger Derek also knows how annoying it can be to face nosy family members during the new year who annoy him with talks about the importance of marriage, a good job, money and status.

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