After college, Zhao Junru made the selfless decision to move back to her hometown in central China’s Henan province. As an only daughter, she felt duty bound to live close to her aging parents, even though she longed for the freedom of big city life. Yet two years later, Zhao’s relationship with her parents has collapsed. Things have gotten so bad recently, she’s no longer … Continue reading In China’s Hinterlands, Young Women Can’t Find a Man. Literally.
SHANGHAI — Julia Li has spent much of the past few years wrestling with a dilemma: She was married, in her late 30s, and still undecided about whether to start a family. Li had been putting off having children for years, but now she was running out of time — and excuses. Her family and friends were urging her to have a baby on an … Continue reading China Is Pushing for a Baby Boom. It’s Getting a Baby Bust.
Xie Yuke has attended over 40 weddings in the past two years and is now making a living from it. The 22-year-old has flown more than 140,000 kilometers and traveled around China working as a professional bridesmaid. It’s a fast-growing industry in China and is “expected to grow by 25% to 30% a year,” Cao Zhonghua, an expert at the Chinese Traditional Culture Promotion Council, told state … Continue reading Bridesmaids Go Professional
JIANGSU, East China — Long before Hu Xing and her husband tied the knot, their families had already planned out their life together in minute detail. Over a series of meetings, the two sets of parents agreed their children’s union would be a marriage of equals. There would be no dowry, bride price, or betrothal gifts, and the families would split all subsequent costs 50/50 … Continue reading The Chinese Couples Going Dutch on Literally Everything
Zhang Ning will soon be reunited with her husband. He left the couple’s hometown of Wuhan to visit relatives in late January, and just days later the central Chinese city suddenly went into lockdown, leaving him unable to return for over two months. But China is now easing travel restrictions as its COVID-19 epidemic subsides, allowing him to finally come home. Zhang couldn’t be less … Continue reading Spousal Distancing: The Chinese Couples Divorcing Over COVID-19