A special match making meeting was held recently in Shanghai where dozens of single parents, supported by their children who wish them to get together, sought another partner to perhaps join them for the rest of their lives.
The match making meeting was organized by the Shanghai Women's Activities Center, an organization that's part of Shanghai's Women's Federation. This organization is famous for its match making services in the east Chinese metropolis.
Zhou Juemin, president of the center, said the idea was suggested by some friends via the Internet, where they originally came up with the idea of holding a meeting for children getting together to seek possible partners for their single parents.
"Now with China becoming an aging society, many single elders face great difficulties getting married again, because of social stereotypes. And the biggest obstacle for their second marriage often comes from their children. Therefore, we hope that by advocating children's support of a parent's remarrying, we're encouraging children to care more about their single parent and call on society to pay more attention to them."
Recent statistics show that the number of single seniors living on their own has reached over 160 thousand. However, according to the president of the center, the number of elders above 50 registered for match making services only account for 10 percent of their total members.
Zhou Juemin explains that children's opposition is mainly a result of economic and psychological problems, and she applauds those children who support their parents coming to the match-maker meetings.
Huang xiaohong accompanyed her mother to the meeting, who divorced ten years ago.
"I hope to have such kind of opportunity and platform to help my mother find her future happiness."
There were some other children coming to the meeting themselves alone. Li Tianlin is the youngest among all the children.
"My father passed away two years ago. Since then, my mother's been exhausted by the heavy burden of life. I hope I can find her a suitable man to alleviate her pain. If she is happy, then I will be happy."
Although only one third of the children of the parents showed up at the meeting, the rest of the participants were all single parents, drifting away a little bit from the organizer's original idea. The over 40 participants was already beyond Zhou Juemin's expectation.
She said they will stick with the idea and organize such a meeting once a month.
(CRI March 14, 2006)