Freshers and sophomores in Hangzhou are rushing into marriage according to the east China city's Civil Affairs Bureau. And the trend is most pronounced among female students.
According to the bureau, the numbers of young people getting married is soaring and they say the matter should receive public attention.
Chen Jinglian, a department head at the bureau, said that in the past, it was not uncommon to see senior students tying the knot, but lately a growing number of first and second year students are getting married. So far this year, for example, in the Jianggan District of Hangzhou more than 40 freshers and sophomores have married.
The rush to marry may be due to the lack of job opportunities resulting from the economic crisis. A professor at South China Normal University said that college girls are enrolling in dating agencies and publishing lonely hearts advertisements as they come up to graduation. The old idea that "the main thing a girl needs is to find a husband" is coming back into fashion.
In Hangzhou, girls are not just searching online for husbands; they are even resorting to the services of matchmakers.
But experts warn early marriages may not last. They say marriage means taking on responsibilities and urge students to take this major life choice seriously.
(China.org.cn by Chen Xia, February 13, 2009)