If you take a walk on a Sunday afternoon around People Square in Shanghai, it is highly likely that you will come across this surprising market. The umbrellas market.
What is it?
As its name evokes, this place is covered with umbrellas. However, they are not the ones who attract all the attention, but the small pieces of paper that are attached on them!
The tradition is that every Sunday, parents of young Chinese adults (between 20 and 30 years old on average) gather at People Square. They exhibit a kind of Curriculum Vitae of their children, written on a paper that will be fasten to the umbrellas.
How it works?
While one of the parents stays close to his/her umbrella to answer questions of possible potential new interested parents. The other walks to see if he/she does not find the perfect candidate for a girl or his son among all the other profiles presented. If she/he finds one, the four parents meet and arrange a meeting with their children.
Here are two examples of resumes you can find on those umbrellas. The most often displayed information on the resume is the birth announcement, the size, the job position and even the salary! It is not uncommon to also see some criteria issued for future candidates. For example, some people are only looing for women between 1m60 and 1m6. Others specify that they are looking for someone from the same a social environment “or higher”. It’s quite surprising!
The most surprising in this market is that there are no pictures on these resumes. “If the mother is pretty, the girl is pretty too fore sure!”. explained me a Chinese man in the market when I ask the question.
In a society where digitization takes more and more space, it is surprising to see that this kind of tradition still exist even with the mass arrival dating apps. Most resume are still written by hand! Maybe the QR code will soon be on the umbrellas too …
How to get there?
It’s very simple, take the metro to People Square Station (Lines 2, 8 or 1) and take exit 17. At the edge of the park, you will quickly find the crow.
When to go?
The Umbrellas Market takes place every Sunday from around 11 am to 5pm.
Make sure to read my previous articles 😉
I also encourage you to watch this video about the Umbrella Market :