A live matchmaking event called “Granny Wang’s Matchmaking” that takes place at a scenic spot in Kaifeng, Henan province, has gone viral on the Chinese internet. Netizens have even dubbed Granny Wang, the host, as “Yue Lao (月老) the sales champion” because “no one can leave Granny Wang’s matchmaking event still single”. In Chinese culture, Yue Lao is the god of marriage and love.
在河南省開封市一個景區舉行的名為“王婆說媒”的現場相親活動在中國互聯網上走紅。網友們甚至將主持人王婆戲稱為“月老”,因為“沒有人能在王婆的相親會上保持單身”。在中國文化中,月老是婚姻和愛情之神。



插圖:2024年3月28日,“王婆”在開封舉行的現場相親活動中。
Unlike scxted matchmaking TV programmes such as If You Are the One (《非誠勿擾》), this live matchmaking event conducted at the Wansui Mountain scenic area in Kaifeng is much more spontaneous and interactive.
與《非誠勿擾》等劇本式相親電視節目不同,這場在開封萬歲山景區舉行的現場相親會更加具備自發性和互動性。

Dressed in traditional red and green Chinese clothing with a large red flower in her hair, Granny Wang randomly invites women to come on stage and asks them to introduce themselves and tell the audience their ideal type of man. Granny Wang then helps to scout for her partner right then and there.

王婆身著傳統的紅綠相間的中式服裝,頭發上插著一朵大紅花,她隨機邀請女性上臺,請她們做自我介紹,并告訴觀眾自己心目中的理想型。然后,王婆當場幫她們物色對象。
Men at the event can raise their hands and interact with the women on stage. Successful pairs would exchange phone numbers and go through “nuptial rites”. If the matchmaking is unsuccessful, Granny Wang will give the “brokenhearted” some “silver notes” (銀票, vouchers) to buy something from the scenic area as a consolation.
參加活動的男士可以舉手與臺上的女士互動。配對成功的雙方將交換電話號碼,并舉行“結婚儀式”。如果相親不成功,王婆會給“失戀者”一些“銀票”,讓他們去景區買東西,以表安慰。

The process may seem simple, but it is highly efficient. Chinese media reported that Granny Wang has already paired 40 to 50 couples a year into her role as a matchmaker.

這個過程看似簡單,但效率很高。據中國媒體報道,王婆在當媒婆的一年來已經為四五十對情侶牽線搭橋。
原創翻譯:龍騰網 http://www.top-shui.cn 轉載請注明出處




插圖:2024年3月30日,“王婆”在開封舞臺上與參與者互動。
And she has become increasingly popular online as well. Douyin topics related to “Granny Wang’s Matchmaking” amassed over 6 billion views, while the number of fans on her personal Douyin account “Granny Wang from Kaifeng” (開封王婆) skyrocketed from 230,000 on 15 March to over 6 million in early April.
她在網上也越來越受歡迎。與“王婆說媒”相關的抖音話題瀏覽量超過60億次,而她的個人抖音賬號“開封王婆”的粉絲數量也從3月15日的23萬猛增至4月初的600多萬。

Based on the videos uploaded by members of the audience, the venue is normally packed even before the start of the event. The event, which was originally ten minutes long, has also been lengthened to two hours.

根據觀眾上傳的視頻,通常在活動開始前,會場就已座無虛席。原本十分鐘的活動也延長到了兩個小時。

Kaifeng, an “ancient capital of eight dynasties”, has again become a hot tourist destination due to the popularity of “Granny Wang’s Matchmaking”. Many netizens said that they have specifically planned to head to Kaifeng to attend Granny Wang’s event during the Qingming Festival holiday. Some netizens joked, “Everyone says that staying single is good, but everyone is still heading to Kaifeng.”

由于“王婆說媒”的火爆,“八朝古都”開封再次成為熱門旅游目的地。不少網友表示,清明節小長假期間,專門計劃去開封參加王婆的活動。有網友開玩笑說:“人人都說單身好,可大家還是都往開封跑?!?/b>



插圖:2024年3月30日,航拍開封“王婆說媒”的人群。
Data from Tongcheng Travel (同程旅行) shows that as of 26 March, searches for Wuxia City scenic area at Wansui Mountain in Kaifeng increased by more than 700% in the past week, with ticket bookings soaring more than 200% month-on-month. And based on data from Ctrip, ticket bookings to Kaifeng have increased over five times year-on-year, and the city has made it onto the list of the top three most “unexpected travel destinations” during the Qingming Festival holiday. Kaifeng authorities have also specially convened a cultural and tourism meeting to study how they can turn this trend into an economic effect so that the city’s surge in popularity can be sustained.
來自同程旅行的數據顯示,截至3月26日,開封萬歲山武俠城景區的搜索量近一周增長超過700%,門票預訂量月環比飆升超過200%。而根據攜程旅行網的數據,開封的門票預訂量同比增長超過5倍,并進入清明節小長假最“意想不到的旅游目的地”前三名。開封市有關部門還專門召開了文化旅游工作會議,研究如何將這一趨勢轉化為經濟效應,以使開封的人氣持續高漲。

The charisma of a ‘love magician’?

“愛情魔術師”的魅力?
“Granny Wang” (王婆) is a stage name, the name of the matchmaker who paired off ximen Qing with Pan Jinlian in the Chinese novel Water Margin. Although she is not exactly a positive character, the people who know the story of Wu Dalang and ximen Qing would have a deep impression of the name.
“王婆”是一個藝名,是中國小說《水滸傳》中為西門慶和潘金蓮牽線搭橋的媒人的名字。雖然她算不上正面人物,但知道武大郎和西門慶故事的人都會對這個名字印象深刻。
The actual name of “Granny Wang from Kaifeng” is Zhao Mei, a 61-year-old performer from the Dasong Wuxia City (大宋武俠城) scenic area at Wansui Mountain. Kaifeng is the birthplace of Song dynasty culture, which is also the theme of the scenic area. “Granny Wang’s Matchmaking” was meant to be a programme that introduces everyday life in Kaifeng during the Song dynasty to visitors, but Zhao took the initiative to add matchmaking elements to it.
“開封王婆”的真實姓名叫趙梅,今年61歲,是萬歲山大宋武俠城景區的一名老藝人。開封是宋代文化的發祥地,這也是景區的主題?!巴跗耪f媒”本是一個向游客介紹宋代開封日常生活的節目,但趙老師主動為其加入了相親元素。

In February, the scenic area had invited various bloggers to experience what Wuxia City had to offer, and the lively and energetic “Granny Wang’s Matchmaking” programme stood out, attracting netizens’ attention.

今年2月,景區曾邀請多位博主體驗武俠城的風土人情,其中生動活潑的《王婆相親》節目脫穎而出,吸引了網民的關注。

Chinese state media CCTV said in an article that the appeal of “Granny Wang’s Matchmaking” is its authenticity and the fact that there is no decoy. None of it is an act and the people sexted are from the live audience, while the sincere and relaxed atmosphere also gives participants a sense of security.

中國國家媒體中央電視臺在一篇文章中說,“王婆說媒”的魅力在于它的真實性,沒有任何套路。這一切都不是演戲,被選中的人都來自現場觀眾,而真誠輕松的氛圍也給參與者帶來了安全感。

At the event, Granny Wang acts as the women’s “godmother” and helps them to “find a husband”. She encourages the women: “Just tell me who you like and Godmother here will invite them to the stage.” She also tells the audience: “It is not embarrassing to get rejected!” When she sees a shy man, she would even teach them how to confess their feelings; if a woman fails to find a suitable partner, she also eases the awkwardness: “If you don’t like any of them, I will get all of them to leave the stage.”

在活動中,王婆充當了婦女們的“干媽”,幫助她們“找老公”。她鼓勵婦女們“只要告訴我你們喜歡誰,干媽就會邀請她們上臺”。她還告訴觀眾“被拒絕并不丟人!”看到害羞的男士,她甚至會教他們如何表白;如果女士找不到合適的伴侶,她也會緩解尷尬:“如果你不喜歡他們中的任何一個,我會把他們全部趕下臺”。

Netizens feel that, compared with dating agencies that charge tens of thousands of dollars for their services, Granny Wang’s no-cost, on-the-spot matchmaking really makes people more trusting and relaxed, creating the heartwarming feeling that “everything is done with our best interests at heart”.

網友們覺得,與那些收費動輒上萬元的婚介所相比,王婆這種不收取任何費用的現場相親,確實讓人更加信任和放松,產生了“一切以我們的利益為重”的溫馨感覺。


Netizens even praised Granny Wang for being able to keep the mood on the ground lively and not awkward, even though participants are strangers, holding the audience’s interest and being even more entertaining than many variety shows on television.

網友們更是稱贊王婆,即使參與者都是陌生人,也能讓現場氣氛活躍而不尷尬,緊緊抓住觀眾的興趣點,娛樂性甚至超過了很多電視綜藝節目。

However, Granny Wang’s show also had its share of controversy and drama. For instance, a divorced couple of three years took to the stage and after Granny Wang’s mediation, they tearfully embraced and decided to reconcile. In response to suspicions that this was scxted, staff claimed that the participants were truly “picked at random”.

不過,王婆的節目也有爭議和戲劇性的一面。比如,一對離婚三年的夫妻上臺,在王婆的調解下,兩人含淚相擁,決定和好。有人懷疑這是編排好的,但工作人員聲稱,參與者確實是“隨機挑選”的。

Another male participant who was successful in being paired on stage was revealed to be in fact married, which also drew accusations from some that matchmaking at the location was treated like a game without any background checks done and was not a serious marriage recommendation; young people were advised to “go in with eyes wide open and be wary of being duped”.

另一位在臺上配對成功的男性參與者被揭露其實已經結婚,這也引起了一些人的指責,認為該地點的相親活動就像一場游戲,沒有做任何背景調查,不是嚴肅的婚姻介紹;建議年輕人“睜大眼睛看清楚,謹防上當受騙”。

Youths still have matchmaking needs?

年輕人還有相親需求嗎?

Experts felt while Granny Wang’s boom in popularity has been given a push by bloggers and viewers, the fact that the show was able to draw in such a large number of participants attests that though the current generation of youths seem uninclined to get married, they still have matchmaking needs.

專家認為,《王婆說媒》的火爆固然有博主和觀眾的推波助瀾,但節目能夠吸引如此多的參與者,也證明了這一代年輕人雖然似乎沒有結婚的意愿,但仍然有相親的需求。

Peng Kaiping, dean of the School of Social Sciences at Tsinghua University, said the popularity of “Granny Wang’s Matchmaking” points towards the fact that youths still hold a lot of expectations about love, and many actually hope to find their other half. He added that 70% of people need help from others to find their other half.

清華大學社會科學學院院長彭凱平認為,《王婆說媒》的熱播說明年輕人對愛情仍然抱有很多期待,很多人其實都希望能找到自己的另一半。他補充說,其中約70%的人需要他人幫助才能找到另一半。

In fact, the attitude towards matchmaking is changing. Marriage and dating website Jiayuan.com released a report last year which said more than 50% of post-00s youths can accept matchmaking as a means to find a partner, and compared to the previous generation, they are beginning to seek matchmaking at an earlier age.

事實上,人們對相親的態度正在發生變化?;閼俳挥丫W站世紀佳緣去年發布的一份報告顯示,超過50%的00后年輕人能夠接受相親這種尋找另一半的方式,與上一代人相比,他們開始尋求相親的年齡更早了。

Statistics show that post-70s men started matchmaking from 26.4 years old onwards, while women did so from 25.4, but for the post-00s generation, males and females could start matchmaking from as early as 20.

統計顯示,70后男性從26.4歲開始相親,女性從25.4歲開始相親,而00后男女從20歲就開始相親了。
The people’s need for a “matchmaking corner” in cities is also on the rise. According to a report by Chinese official media The Paper (《澎湃新聞》), from last year onwards, many netizens from areas such as Beijing, Urumqi in xinjiang, Yan’an in Shaanxi, Gaoping in Shanxi and so on have been calling on their governments to set up matchmaking corners in local parks.
人們對城市“相親角”的需求也在增加。據中國官媒《澎湃新聞》報道,從去年開始,北京、新疆烏魯木齊、陜西延安、山西高平等地的眾多網友紛紛呼吁政府在當地公園設立相親角。

A Beijing netizen suggested that a park in Tongzhou be designated as a matchmaking corner, citing the social issue of mature youths' difficulties in finding a partner. According to the netizen, while the matchmaking corner at Beijing's Zhongshan Park is used by parents to help their children find a partner, it's a long way from Tongzhou to Beijing.

北京的一位網民以“大齡青年找對象難”這一社會問題為由,建議將通州的一個公園設為“相親角”。據該網民稱,雖然北京中山公園的相親角被父母用來幫助子女尋找伴侶,但從通州到北京路途太遠了。

A large-scale dating arena

大型相親會

Some people are getting hopeful after reading such news: are the young looking to get married again?

看到這樣的新聞,有人開始期待:年輕人是不是又想要結婚了?



插圖:2024年3月24日,人們在中國東部江蘇省南??京市的一個校園里觀賞櫻花。

However, from netizens’ comments, it is too soon to draw such a conclusion. On the one hand, parents are still the main "players" at matchmaking corners. On the other hand, at the location of “Granny Wang’s Matchmaking”, not all are interested in dating for marriage.

不過,從網友的評論來看,現在下結論還為時尚早。一方面,父母仍然是相親角的主要“玩家”。另一方面,在“王婆說媒”,并不是所有人都對相親結婚感興趣。

A netizen from xiaohongshu who attended the event in person shared that tourists thronged the event, and many exchanged WeChat contacts without going on stage. She likened it to a music festival: one is there to watch the show, make friends, or even go on an impromptu date if someone catches your eye. Another netizen said that going on dates is not hard, but marriage is a whole other matter.

一位親自參加活動的小紅書網友分享說,活動現場游客絡繹不絕,很多人沒上臺就交換了微信通訊錄。她將其比喻為音樂節:人們在那里觀看演出,結交朋友,如果有人吸引了你,甚至可以臨時約會。另一位網民說,約會并不難,但結婚就是另一回事了。

From the looks of it, the support for “Granny Wang’s Matchmaking” does not so much reflect a desire to get married, but rather young people's hopes to break out of their circles and go on dates. At the same time, a holiday mood and the relaxed atmosphere at scenic spots also help reduce real-world obstacles to dating, helping the young open their hearts.

從目前來看,支持《王婆說媒》的網友與其說是想結婚,不如說是年輕人希望跳出自己的圈子去約會。同時,節日的氣氛和景區的輕松氛圍也有助于減少現實中的相親障礙,幫助年輕人敞開心扉。

“Granny Wang’s Matchmaking” has broken a certain stereotype about young people's desires for relationships and marriage. However, one cannot rely on a popular online show to spur change. Less interference and pressure, and a little more sincerity à la Granny Wang, could perhaps be the catalyst to promote dating and marriage in China.

“王婆說媒”打破了年輕人對戀愛婚姻的某種刻板印象。然而,現狀并不是只依靠一檔熱門的網絡節目就能改變的。少一些干擾和壓力,多一些王婆的真誠,也許才會成為促進中國人婚戀交友的催化劑。