Rent-a-boyfriend (or, girl-friend) for Chinese New Year

by fulltimestudent 2 Replies latest social current

  • fulltimestudent

    The Spring Festival (also called Chinese New Year) is one of the biggest annual festivals in the world. Families try to re-unite which often means that people whose life-styles are diverging from that of their parents must try to reconcile their lives with hometown tradition.

    So arises a new occupation: the boyfriend (or girlfriend) for hire:

    China Central Televison America explains this to Americans:

    Growing number of Chinese women “renting” boyfriends for New Year’s
    Photo source: Xinhua News
    February 23, 2015
    A growing trend in China is the sale of fake boyfriend rental services, particularly on China’s largest online marketplace, Taobao. Many young women are buying these services as a way to stave off marriage pressure from their parents.
    Unmarried female migrants returning home to celebrate Chinese New Year, often face reprimands from extended family members about their unmarried status. For many women in China, if they’re not married by the time they’re 30, they are considered old maids, or they could also face gossip for being abnormal.

    To prevent such a reaction, many rent a boyfriend for the Chinese New Year for anywhere from 1,000 RMB ($160) to 10,000 RMB($1,599) a day, men put their companionship up for sale. Romantic “extras” — such as holding hands, going to the movies, cuddling, — cost extra, according to a Foreign Affairs report.
    According to report, there are an estimated seven million unmarried women between the ages of 25-34 in urban areas in China. Around seven percent of highly-educated women won’t be married until they are 45.


  • fulltimestudent

    But today's China being what today's China is, the sharp eyes of Chinese social satirists soon saw the potential to have some fun with the concept.

  • fulltimestudent

    The twist of the satirical knife though, comes right at the end. The chunyun visit home has been a success, the hired boyfriend has completed his oscar standard performance and charmed Mum, Dad and little brother. And so the 'happy couple' return to big-city life.

    As he's paid off, the hired boyfriend asks the girl to have dinner with him. He's turned down with a very cold, "Get out of the car."

    And, so the real social problem of life in modern China is highlighted, the so-called "dry branches," over 100,000,000 surplus men who will never find an available woman to marry.


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