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Parental Match-making Blossoms in a Beijing Park

erfect match --

One weary father has been coming to the park for seven months searching for a match for his 35-year-old daughter.

"My daughter has a very good education, she has a doctorate but now she has graduated it is hard to find the right boy at the right age," he explains.

Then he reverts to his quiet salesman pitch: "My daughter is a very good teacher, she has been abroad."

The grumbles of mothers of daughters rang throughout a recent Sunday summer afternoon.

"My daughter is very timid. There is no time and no chance to meet young people," said one mother. Another chipped in: "Girls should not be judged on beauty, they should have careers."

The Beijing scene is repeated in cities and parks across China, according to E.T. Hu, executive producer on a film called "The Park" which follows the testy relationship of a father and daughter through the parental matchmaking phenomenon set southwestern Yunnan province.

"The parents care about their children very, very much in China and it is a tradition that they will help them find a spouse, this is just a modern version of it," she said.

"Parents are also a little shy, but they feel they need to do this. They are worried about their children getting older and not finding a boyfriend or a girlfriend."

The shyness and discomfort are obvious. As soon as any Westerner approaches, many cover up their CVs and hide their photos. And while some were open about the minutiae of their children's lives, none would give their names.

Their shyness is also provoked by the horror that would greet them if their children knew they were being peddled in a park.

"My daughter is very busy and she doesn't know I am here. If I told my daughter about it she would be very angry," said one mother, before explaining her simple plan if she does find a potential husband.

"I will j
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