A matchmaking advertisement is seen on a bus in Zhengzhou, Central China's Henan province, on Aug 8, 2016.
The Spring Festival Holiday is always a busy time for matchmakers. But the success rate is quite low. China Youth Daily comments:
The most difficult group for matchmakers is male farmers more than 30 years old. The unbalanced ratio of men to women in villages and their lack of means put them in a disadvantaged position in the competition for a wife.
It is no surprise that some poor villages in the inland areas are filled with single men, as most local women have found better-off husbands elsewhere or they work in cities as migrant workers. Few women would like to marry poor men in the rural villages. This has been recognized as a social problem by many.
According to tradition, the bridegroom is supposed to give a decent betrothal gift to his wife's family, and is also in charge of preparing a new home before the marriage, which can add up to hundreds of thousands of yuan even in some poverty-stricken regions where most locals lead a hand-to-mouth life.
Even male migrant workers find it difficult to date their female co-workers, let alone female urban residents, because of their lack of an urban hukou, household registration, and the social welfare affiliated with it. Sometimes loneliness can be a catalyst for a short relationship, but it is usually not a catalyst for marriage.
The marriage issue of the rural men deserves more attention from the government and social organizations, and greater efforts to transform outdated customs and traditions.