In the last post, I spoke briefly about the wonders of the Yuyuan gardens and the Jing’an temple. Shanghai isn’t exactly China’s historical center as it has become a beacon for development and modernity in Asia, though it has it’s moments (there are apparently some water towns nearby that possess much more of China’s history and…’eccentricities…’ that you may not see here in Shanghai proper).
So this past week, on holiday, Ana and I also managed to see the Jade Buddha Temple, which, unlike the Jing’an Temple, is an active Buddhist Temple and Monastery. It wasn’t the most amazing temple I have come across in my life, but it was one of the most contradictory, sitting in the world’s largest city and one of it’s rising modern stars smack dab in the middle of a communist country. That being said, the temple had its beauties and wonders, specifically the intricacy of the varying deities around the temple and especially the humanist side; seeing the monks performing prayers and watching local Chinese come to offer their own.
We also managed to happen upon what we could only ever have come to believe by seeing with our own eyes. It was a full-blown marriage market. Desperate parents gather in the park with information sheets and umbrellas to post them on, of their children’s stats – age, heigh, education, what kind of person they’re looking for, etc. If you ever thought your parents wanted to get you out of the house, it’s nothing compared to what these parents do…almost literally selling off their kids to be married in, what I can only assume, is a last-ditch effort to rekindle a forgotten love with their own spouse…. I kid, I don’t know why they do it, but it sure is hilarious to see! I didn’t have the opportunity to understand a lot as it was almost entirely in Chinese, but we did find one in English so check it out along with pics of the market itself. Enjoy!