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Thousands seek that special someone in Shanghai

SHANGHAI: The odds favored the men as thousands gathered to look for love in Shanghai at the eastern Chinese city’s largest-ever matchmaking party, paying for the privilege of searching for their other half.

Census data shows a rise in the percentage of older single women over the last decade, while the percentage of older single men has fallen, according to the China Daily — which experts said might be due to increasingly choosy women unwilling to settle for men with inferior education and living standards.

Organizers said there were three women for every two men, with 6,000 tickets sold to single woman and 4,000 to men.

“These days, girls are much more self-sufficient and independent,” said Zhou Juemin, president of the Shanghai Matchmaking Association, which organized the two-day event at the weekend.

“Also, there’s a lot of work pressure in society nowadays, so many girls are busy with their jobs and perhaps tend to consider career advancement above marriage — so some of them are no longer young.”

Long queues of singles waited for their turn for five-minute chats with the opposite sex in the ultimate blind-date event.

“If your standard of living is lower than mine in every aspect, but if we can relate well to each other, I wouldn’t mind — because if we relate well, there would be good chemistry,” said 27-year-old Zue Tianwei.

“Then the issues of social order would no longer be a problem. I guess it depends on how strong my feelings are.”

Many men, for their part, said they were willing to shrug off traditional thinking that once made marrying a woman of higher educational and living standards unacceptable.

“Regarding girls who have a higher education level or standard of living, I wouldn’t mind pursuing them because this is a two-way thing,” said Li Jianxun, a 27-year-old native of central China who has lived in Shanghai for two years.

“As long as the feelings are mutual, it is still possible to interact and get to know each other.”

Hopefuls from nearby provinces travelled to Shanghai to take part, among them some who had already married and divorced.

A few, bolder than others, held up signs to distinguish themselves from the crowd. One said, “I wanted to fall in love early, but it’s already late.”

Around 3,000 parents also tagged along, with Organizers allocating a special corner for them to advertise information on their unmarried children. Some kept an eye out for suitable future in-laws.

Qi Xiong, who helped his son by taking pictures to keep track of potential matches, said he still felt that men should not look for wives with higher social status than themselves.

“Generally speaking, if you are a girl and your education level or income is too high, we’re more likely to oppose it,” he said, noting that a simple university degree was sufficient.

“A huge difference in education levels would make it difficult to communicate. If both parties begin at the same starting line, and want to achieve success in the future, they can work at it together.”

Taylor Swift wins big at American Music Awards

LOS ANGELES: Country music songstress Taylor Swift was the big winner Sunday at the American Music Awards, walking away with three prizes including Artist of the Year.

British soul diva Adele also won three gongs, while Canadian teen sensation left empty handed at the awards, voted for by fans and announced at a star-studded show in Los Angeles.
Bieber, who was last year’s big winner at the AMAs, sang a tune from his Christmas-themed album “Under the Mistletoe,” but failed to win in the only category in which he was shortlisted, for best pop/rock male artist.

Other winners included Katy Perry, Beyonce and Nicki Minaj, who won both rap/hip-hop gongs up for grabs.Adele won in three of the four categories in which she was nominated — but did not attend the show, in Los Angeles Nokia Theatre, as she is out of action after undergoing throat surgery.

But the big news of the night was Swift, who took all three prizes for which she was nominated — artist of the year, as well as best female artist and best album for “Speak Now” in the country music category.

Swift — who was named entertainer of the year at the Country Music Awards a few weeks ago, called her AMA triumph “one of the most amazing things that have ever happened to me.”

The 21-year-old from Pennsylvania is no stranger to music industry glory: she has son four Grammys, including album of the year last year for her second record “Fearless.”

Here are winners in key categories:
Artist of the Year: Taylor Swift.
Best pop/rock female artist: Adele.
Best pop/rock male artist: Bruno Mars.
Best rap/hip-hop artist: Nicki Minaj.
Best soul/R&B male artist: Usher.
Best soul/R&B female artist: Beyonce.
Best country female artist: Taylor Swift.
Best country male artist: Blake Shelton.
Best Latin artist: Jennifer Lopez.
Best new artist: Hot Chelle Rae.

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