Wang Ni and Liu Hao, both 23 years old, got married last week, a month after
they graduated from Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.
"We married for love," said Wang Ni. "We fell in love when we were juniors.
Now we want our passion to continue."
University students in major cities are increasingly choosing to get married
soon after graduation. According to the Civil Affairs Department of Xuhui
District, Shanghai, 1,221 university graduates aged 22 to 24 applied for
marriage registration last year in the district, an increase of 50 percent over
Outside of Shanghai, students in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenyang and some other
big cities are also choosing to get married right after graduating, statistics
from civil affairs departments show.
This is in sharp contrast to the 1990s and 1980s when many urban youngsters
put off marriage until they were "old enough" - in their 30s or even 40s. Many
spent their time looking for spouses with good economic backgrounds or
attractive faces, instead of looking for love.
Analysts say that as Chinese society has become more affluent and open in the
21st century, more young people feel free to pursue their own way of life.
However, their parents have to take care of the couple's daily affairs, as
the "babies" are still figuring out how to live as a family. Zhu's mother calls
the couple every morning and comes to clean their house every weekend. Their
parents also give them 3,000 yuan ($395) every month to help them cover their
Critics have warned that marriages that were not based on life experience and
mutual understanding would end in divorce.
Statistics from the Beijing civil affairs bureau show that 5,786 couples of
people who were younger than 24 applied for divorce last year. Among them, 970
had been married for less than a year and 52 less than a month.
"Getting married without first thinking things through will often lead to
break-ups," said Li Ziwei, an official with Beijing civil affairs