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Singles appeal to parents through ad
Last Updated: 2016-02-05 11:11 | chinadaily.com.cn
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An advertisement in Beijing's Dongzhimen subway station goes on: "Dear Dad and Mom, don't worry about me. The world is so big and there are many different ways of lifestyles. Singletons can also be very happy." [Photo by Wang Zhuangfei/China Daily]

Singles are now speaking out against their parents for putting pressure on them to get married.

With the Chinese Lunar New Year approaching, an ad recently appeared in Beijing's Dongzhimen subway station with this message to parents: please, do not urge me to get married, especially when I come back home to spend the Spring Festival.

It is Chinese tradition that all family members go home for reunion during the Spring Festival holidays, which begins on Sunday this year.

The advertisement, a result of crowd-funding by some young single people from different regions of the country who have experienced the pressure to get married, goes on: "Dear Dad and Mom, don't worry about me. The world is so big and there are many different kinds of lifestyles. Singletons can also be very happy."

Parents urging or even forcing children in their late 20s or 30s to date or to get married, especially during festivals and holidays when young people go back home, has become common in China.

Rebeca Ruiz Contreras, a student from Mexico who is studying at Beijing Language and Culture University, said she has never met anyone who was forced into marriage back in her hometown Mexico City. "It is a matter of culture differences," she said.

However, a recent survey conducted in China among people under 40 years old showed that more than 70 percent of them were urged or forced to get married. Those aged between 25 and 35 faced most stress, as 86 percent of them were urged or were forced to get married, the survey found.

Li Hao, a Tianjin resident working in Turkey, said his mother has been urging him to find a girlfriend since he finished graduate school studies in 2013.

"She arranged lots of blind dates for me and was unhappy when the dates didn't work out. She also criticized me for spending two thirds of a year working overseas, which she believed made it difficult for me to establish and maintain a stable relationship with a girl," said the 29-year-old.

Chen Linxi, a 28-year-old civil servant in Changsha, Central China's Hunan province, said 80 percent of calls her parents made to her were to compel her into marriage.

"Although I know they did this out of concern for me, but I still feel unhappy because their remarks made me feel that I was like out-dated goods that should be sold as soon as possible," she said.

But Chen does not think protesting through advertisement is effective. "Getting married and having children at the right age is an idea that is deeply rooted in many parents' mind that might not be easily changed," she said.

Li, who works in Turkey, believes a better way to convince stubborn parents is to lead a happy life. "They will be relieved when they see that you live well although you are single," he said.

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