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中国式相亲:一代“巨婴”的婚姻观

更新时间:2017-2-18 11:03:52 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Chinese Dating Show Puts Veto Power in Parents’ Hands
中国式相亲:一代“巨婴”的婚姻观

BEIJING — You are a young Chinese man whose father tells you the most important skill his future daughter-in-law must have is caring for her home and family. Your mother rejects a 40-year-old woman as your potential mate because she may be too old to bear children.

北京——你是一名年轻的中国男子,父亲告诉你,他未来的儿媳必须掌握的最重要的技能是照顾家庭。你的母亲反对让一个40岁的女子做你的候选伴侣,因为她的年龄太大,可能生不了孩子。

This is a new TV dating show.

这是一档新的电视相亲节目。

Since “Chinese Dating” made its debut in late December, it has drawn viewers and generated lively discussions on China’s social networks. A Weibo page for “Chinese Dating” has been visited 177 million times, and the first three episodes had more than 200 million views online.

自去年12月底首播以来,《中国式相亲》吸引了大量观众,还在中国的社交网络上引发了热烈的讨论。它的一个微博页面被访问了1.77亿次,已经播出的前三集在网上获得了2亿次观看。

Dating shows are not new in China. The top-rated “If You Are the One” turned several contestants into celebrities through their provocative statements, such as “I’d rather cry in a BMW than laugh on a bicycle.” What’s different about “Chinese Dating” is that it gives parents power over their children’s choices, a power that many viewers say reflects Chinese society today.

相亲节目在中国已经不是新鲜事物。在最受欢迎的《非诚勿扰》中,有几位选手曾因发出有争议的宣言而出了名,比如“我宁愿坐在宝马车里哭,也不愿意坐在自行车后面笑”。《中国式相亲》不同的地方在于,它赋予父母干预子女选择的权力,许多观众表示这样的设置反映了中国当下的社会现实。

“The presence of the parents, who are the decision makers in many young people’s marriages, and their blunt opinions contribute to the show’s appeal,” said Zhou Xiaopeng, a relationships counselor on the dating website Baihe. “People like it because that’s the reality, that many young Chinese people’s decisions on marriage are influenced by their parents.”

“父母在很多年轻人的婚姻中起到了决策作用,他们出现在节目中,明码标价说出自己的要求,这些增加了这个节目的受欢迎程度,”相亲网站百合网的首席婚恋专家周小鹏说。“观众喜欢看这个节目,因为这就是对现实的反映,中国年轻人的婚姻决定是很受到父母影响的。”

Ms. Zhou said the weekly show evoked China’s tradition of arranged marriages, in which family elders hired matchmakers to find spouses for their children. Although arranged marriages were discouraged after the fall of the last imperial dynasty in 1911 and banned by government in the 1930s, Chinese millennials, often portrayed as the excessively indulged and protected products of the one-child family policy, now find themselves yielding to parents who are ready to provide them with everything, even a spouse.

周小鹏女士还表示,这个每周播出的节目让人想起了中国包办婚姻的传统,也就是家里的长辈请媒人为子女找配偶的传统。尽管包办婚姻在1911年最后一个皇朝覆灭之后就受到阻止,并在上世纪30年代被政府所取缔,但中国的千禧一代——往往被描绘成独生子女政策下被父母过度纵容和保护的一代——现在发现自己在顺从父母的意愿,后者随时准备为他们提供一切,包括配偶。

Zhang Yashu, a 25-year-old woman from Shenyang, the capital of the northeastern province of Liaoning, who appeared on the show in January, said none of her previous boyfriends had satisfied her mother.

来自东北省份辽宁省会沈阳的25岁女子张天舒在今年1月出现在了这档节目上,她表示自己之前的男朋友没有一个能让她母亲满意的。

“My mom means well. She wants me to find a good husband — by her standards,” Ms. Zhang said in an interview. “I don’t feel a rush to get married, but my parents are worried I won’t be able to find a good husband, especially as their friends’ children are all settling down.”

“我妈妈是好意,她希望我能找个她认为好的对象,”张天舒在接受采访时说。“我自己其实并不着急,但是我父母比较着急,尤其是看到身边亲戚朋友的孩子都渐渐稳定下来了。”

Ms. Zhang’s parents had introduced her to several men, but none of the meetings sparked romance. Fortunately, she found someone she liked on the show and, her parents liked him, too.

张天舒的父母给她介绍过好几个对象,但没有一次相亲激起过爱的火花。幸运的是,她在这档节目上找到了自己喜欢的人,而且父母也认可他。

The show’s hostess is one of China’s most popular entertainment personalities: Jin Xing, a transgender woman. If that challenges Confucian traditions, the show’s format hews more closely to them. The basic format lines up several young men or women against five sets of parents. The parents’ children are in another room, where they can watch the proceedings through a monitor and communicate with their parents by phone. Only candidates approved by the parents are allowed to meet their children.

这档节目的女主持人是中国最受欢迎的娱乐名人之一:金星,一位变性女性。如果这一点挑战了儒家传统,这档节目的设置则更贴近这些传统。基本设置是几名年轻男子或女子排成一排,与五对父母面对面。这些父母的子女则待在另一个房间,在那里他们可以通过监视器看到相亲的过程,也可以通过电话与父母沟通。只有得到父母同意的候选人才能与他们的子女见面。

For male candidates, parents’ biggest concern appears to be their finances. For women, it helps to be young, pretty and innocent seeming. In one episode, when a potential groom asked the parents how many relationships their daughters had had, all the parents said their daughters either had never dated or had never brought a man home.

对男性候选人而言,父母最关心的似乎是他们的财务状况。对女性而言,如果年轻、漂亮,看起来似乎比较天真,会有帮助。在其中一集中,当一位潜在的新郎问对面的家长他们的女儿谈过几次恋爱时,所有家长都表示,他们的女儿既没有谈过恋爱,也没有带过一个男人回家。

“She has high standards,” one mother said proudly. “She’s basically a blank page.”

“她有很高的标准,”一位母亲自豪地说道。“基本上还是白纸一张。”

In an interview with the Jiefang Daily newspaper, the show’s director, Yao Yao, said she was struck by how anxious the parents on the show were about their children’s marriages.

在接受《解放日报》采访时,这档节目的编导姚瑶表示,节目中父母为子女的婚姻那么操心,让她很受触动。

“Inviting parents here, getting their approval, is a way of avoiding many unnecessary problems,” she said. “There’s no question that family and parents are important in a marriage. Romance and marriage are two different things.”

“当时我们设计父母与子女同台,首先是想扫清婚姻路上不必要的麻烦,”她说。“一个人背后的家庭和父母,在婚姻中的重要性是不可回避的现实。婚姻和谈恋爱不完全是一回事。”

Ms. Zhou said one reason Chinese parents had so much say over their child’s marriage was that many of the parents were paying for it. According to a 2015 report by the All-China Women’s Federation, the average age at marriage is 26. But the expenses of marriage exceed what most Chinese this age can afford. According to one industry report, in 2016 the average cost of a wedding in Shanghai was 200,000 renminbi, about $30,000. That does not include the costs of an apartment and a car, which are widely considered prerequisites for an engagement and typically bought by the young man’s parents.

周小鹏表示,中国的父母之所以在子女的婚姻中有这么大的发言权,有一个原因是其中有许多父母在为孩子的婚姻埋单。中国的妇联2015年发布的一份报告显示,全国平均结婚年龄为26岁。但结婚的费用超出了这个年龄的大多数中国人所能承受的范畴。一份行业报告显示,2016年在上海举办一场婚礼的平均费用为20万人民币。这还不包括一套公寓和一辆车的费用,这两样被普遍视为订婚的先决条件,而且往往是由男方父母提供。

“Matchmaking remains popular because, from the start, each side knows exactly what the other’s background is,” Ms. Zhou said. “It’s efficient when candidates are screened by parents.”

“相亲比较普遍是因为从一开始,两家父母就明确知道对方的家庭背景,可以说选择对象是受到父母挑选过了的,这样比较有效率。”周小鹏说。

Lu Pin, a cultural critic, said patriarchal values were never entirely eliminated from Chinese culture, and there were signs that they were making a comeback.

文化批评家吕频说,家长制的价值观从来没有完全从中国文化中消失过,有迹象表明它正在复兴。

“Many Chinese families have entered the middle class now, and they want to solidify their status by marrying people from a similar background,” Ms. Lu said. “It’s a decision that affects the whole family.”

“很多中国家庭都进入了中产阶级,他们希望能通过和相似背景的人结婚巩固家庭的社会地位。结婚这件事在这个意义上来讲是关乎全家族的一件事。”吕频说。

Without parents’ help, she said, many young Chinese cannot afford to marry, and even afterward they still need help from their parents on issues like child care.

她说,没有父母的帮助,中国很多年轻人是结不起婚的,甚至在结婚之后,他们仍然需要父母在带孩子等问题上提供帮助。

“Too much protection and support from parents has given rise to a generation that has never really grown up,” Ms. Zhou said.

“太多的保护和太多的支持让中国产生了一代长不大的孩子,”周小鹏说。

“Many clients tell me their marriage was based not on love, but on ‘convenience,’ that their parents told them it would be a good match,” she said. “When asked what they expect of their future partner, many say they trust their parents’ experience. That’s not the attitude of an adult.”

”我的很多客户找到我跟我说,他们的婚姻从开始就不是建立在爱情的基础上,而是比较方便,听从了他们父母的意见,父母认为是门当户对合适的婚姻。我问我一些单身的客户他们对未来伴侣的期待是什么,有人也会说会相信父母的经验和意见,我觉得这样不是一个成年人应有的态度。”她说。

Some commenters on Weibo agreed. “China is a country full of grown-up babies,” one user wrote.

微博上的一些评论者表示同意。“中国满是巨婴,”一个网友写道。

But others say the show is only acknowledging the practicalities of finding a mate.

但也有人说,这个节目只是承认了寻找伴侣的现实情况。

“It’s better than breaking up after you’ve dated a while and found you don’t get along well with each other’s parents,” wrote another.

另一个网友写道:“这总比谈了一段时间恋爱之后,发现你和对方的父母处不好分手强。”

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