Developing

Match-making parents peg their children's matrimonial hopes on a public washing line

'Although my son and I have different tastes, I can at least narrow down some of the girls who meet his requirements'

Trying to find the perfect partner in a country of 1.3billion people can be like finding a needle in a haystack. And the frustration of failed relationship after failed relationship can feel like you're living in a tumble dryer.

But now parents have taken matters into their own hands in finding a suitable match for their busy daughters and sons forging a career in the booming economy. Not content with traditional blind dates or internet dating, match-making parents in Shanghai, China have taken to advertising their details on a washing line at People's Park.

Adverts include details about their child's height, age, education and job information and income.  Whether or not he does the washing up or if she's good at the ironing is not on the list.

The extraordinary measure also allows parents to mingle with other parents, swapping notes on their children in the hope they might find what they are looking for.

One parent, Ma Jianhua, 55, who has visited the park everyday for six months told China Daily: "My son is too busy to date girls, so I am here on his behalf.

"Although my son and I have different tastes, I can at least narrow down some of the girls who meet his requirements, by speaking to the girl's parents.  After all a woman's manner and character are often influenced by their parents."

In the match-making park, typical requirements of the ideal wife is 'kind, have a stable job and preferably hold a bachelor's degree'.

For a husband, parents are looking for a 'responsible man with a stable income' or someone 'who owns an apartment and a car'. Degrees, good incomes and pushy parents are welcome qualities (Caters)

Ma said his 28 year-old son was looking for a caring girl aged between 24 and 26 with a degree, but so far none have made the cut.

He said: "I will not give up, as father, I will not feel comfortable if I don't do something for my son.

"Besides, I believe match-making works.  Some of the parents I used to see are no longer here.  I think they must have found someone."