XINHUA, ARROW OF CUPID (China),
BEIJING - China is not only the world's most populous country, but also has a seriously packed "singles scene" of 180 million men and women eager to find their other half.
Recently, a popular TV series called Time To Be Married, depicting Chinese bachelors in their 30s in a desperate search for spouses, has topped audience ratings, according to Xinhua.
Dating as well as marriage services has become an increasingly profitable industry in recent years. “China is going through the process of rapid urbanization in which the old channels of match-making no longer work for people who originally came from the countryside or small towns,” Gong Haiyan told Xinhua.
Gong is the founder of the most popular Chinese online dating platform, Jiayuan.com. Founded in 2003, Jiayuan.com boasts over 68 million registered members and more than five million users monthly. It has become so successful digitally that it now also organizes big off-line blind-dating events across China. This dating site has been publicly traded on the American Nasdaq stock exchange since April 2011.
Chinese are not known for mincing words. Not only are men over 30 referred to as “leftover men,” but women in their late 20s are also considered to be “unwanted dogs” and can be referred to in terms such as “old aunt.”
China has tens of millions of men without any realistic prospect of finding a wife, thanks to the one-child policy imposed by the government which resulted in the large scale abortion of girl fetuses. Even so, women are in general much more active in seeking a partner, according to Arrow of Cupid, another online marriage service.
“The Chinese are highly conscious about the need to get married. Not only do all the blind dating events we organize attract hundreds of enthusiastic participants in every town, the local governments are also very supportive. And contrary to what many imagine, it’s the women, and rather young women who have only just left college, who are most eager to sign up with these match-making services,” the website says.
According to Gong Haiyan, the biggest advantage of online dating is the massive number of potential candidates one is offered. Nevertheless, in a virtual world where “Everybody is blundering about searching for eternal love in the quickest possible way, it’s so absurd and yet so real,” as one Chinese netizen put it.
A court in Spain usurps custody of the one-year-old boy living with his mother in the "deep" part of the Galicia region, forced to instead live with his father in the southern city of Marbella, which the judge says is "cosmopolitan" with good schools and medical care. Women's rights groups have taken up the mother's case.
A Spanish court has ordered the withdrawal of a mother's custody of her one-year-old boy because she is living in the countryside in northwestern Spain, where the judge says the child won't have "opportunities for the proper development of his personality."
The case, reported Monday in La Voz de Galicia, has sparked outrage from a women's rights association but has also set off reactions from politicians of different stripes across the province of Galicia, defending the values of rural life.
Judge María Belén Ureña Carazo, of the family court of Marbella, a city on the southern coast of 141,000 people, has ordered the toddler to stay with father who lives in the city rather than with his mother because she was living in "deep Galicia" where the child would lack opportunities to "grow up in a happy environment."
Front page of La Voz de Galicia - October 25, 2021
Front page of La Voz de Galicia - Monday 25 October, 2021
Better in a "cosmopolitan" city?
The judge said Marbella, where the father lives, was a "cosmopolitan city" with "a good hospital" as well as "all kinds of schools" and thus provided a better environment for the child to thrive.
The mother has submitted a formal complaint to the General Council of the Judiciary that the family court magistrate had acted with "absolute contempt," her lawyer told La Voz de Galicia.
The mother quickly accumulated support from local politicians and civic organizations. The Clara Campoamor association described the judge's arguments as offensive, intolerable and typical of "an ignorant person who has not traveled much."
The Xunta de Galicia, the regional government, has addressed the case, saying that any place in Galicia meets the conditions to educate a minor. The Socialist party politician Pablo Arangüena tweeted that "it would not hurt part of the judiciary to spend a summer in Galicia."
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