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Burnaby’s Central Park hosts Chinese-style matchmaking, as parents seek wedded bliss for kids

February 14, 2023

By Vancouver Sun |

In a corner of a park in Metro Vancouver, the hunt for marital bliss is on.

Groups of middle-aged and elderly Chinese speakers pass around their smartphones or photos plucked from wallets, smiling and nodding their greetings before getting down to business.

Do you have a daughter or a son? How old are they? Where did they go to university? Where do they work? And perhaps most importantly — why are they still single?

Central Park in Burnaby has become a matchmaking corner for parents, replicating a phenomenon seen in some cities in China.

On the weekend before Valentine’s Day, there were 20 to 30 parents mingling. Organizer Terry Wang says in summer, there are more than 100.

The park is where magic happens, says Wang, “if you come here believing in the power of love.”

Wang said in Mandarin that he has been running the “offline dating site” since last summer. He said it gained in popularity among Chinese parents over the past few months and had a high rate of matchmaking success.

“Some parents are frequent visitors of the matchmaking corner and then one day they stop showing up and later they invite me to their children’s weddings,” laughed Wang. He said he finds the process “blissful and rewarding.”

Wang said the corner grew from an online discussion group among more than 300 Chinese immigrants who were either looking for a match for their children or for themselves.

“Many Chinese parents and their children feel their social circle is a bit small and they hope to connect with more like-minded people in Metro Vancouver. The corner serves as a bridge,” said Wang.

Meet-ups also take place on Sundays and Thursdays at a shopping mall in Richmond.

Wang said he had a personal interest in organizing the gatherings. His daughter is about to turn 26 and he visits the Burnaby corner weekly in the hope of finding her a husband.

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