Matchmaking event delivers message of love
Wearing his food delivery uniform, 22-year-old Hua Yuhang looked a little nervous on Wednesday afternoon as his good looks attracted attention.
Hua was taking part in a matchmaking event organized by dating service Baihejiayuan Group at Yuyuan Garden in Huangpu District.
The date — May 20, 2020 — is believed auspicious as in Chinese it sounds similar “ai ni ai ni wo ai ni,” or "love you, love you, I love you” in English.
The event included a game inviting participants in teams to accomplish tasks and find "treasures" hidden in different corners of the tourist attraction to win gifts. It aims to enhance their understanding and love, Baihejiayuan said.
About 50 people took part, 10 of them Meituan Dianping food delivery workers.
Hua has been a food delivery worker for over two years.
"Food delivery is an emerging industry and it has big potential," Hua said. "I am busy at work, but the salary is satisfactory and the job is promising.
"Many people may look down upon us, but I support myself with hard work," he said. "I came here to meet more friends because my social circle is small.”
Hua has had two relationships that would have led to marriage but failed due to financial reasons.
"I expect to meet my future partner here," Hua said.
Li Xue, a 25-year-old working in the office of a foreign-funded company, said: "Food delivery workers seem to be responsible and warm-hearted, which meets my criterion for marriage.”
Zheng Shumin, 28, was a florist for exhibitions and wedding banquets before the coronavirus outbreak made him change his job to food deliveryman.
"My parents pressured me to attend various matchmakings they arranged, but I refused all of them," he said. "Matchmaking arranged by parents put a lot of pressure on me, and other relatives all followed the progress, which bored me as well.
"This matchmaking event is fun and leisurely, and it does not make me nervous," he said.
Zheng had been dating for five years before the relationship broke up due to opposition from her family. They met when she was a shop assistant and he was buying some clothes.
"I didn’t want to contact other females for some time due to the failed experience, but I gradually opened my heart," he said.
"This time, I want to look for someone who makes me feel right at first sight," he said.
Liu Meng, also 28, added Zheng’s WeChat account.
"The job is cool, and I want my future partner to be self-motivated," she said.
Food delivery staff carried on working during the coronavirus disease outbreak when most people stayed at home, and the matchmaking event was a platform for them to pursue love and in gratitude for their dedication and hard work in serving the community during the crisis, Baihejiayuan said.
Zhang Juan, 37, a native of Nantong in neighboring Jiangsu Province, has been delivering food for four years. She used to be a kindergarten teacher.
"The former job was boring, and I like challenges," she said. "I am very busy at work and it is even harder on rainy days when there are many orders to deliver, but I can conquer them all.
"This is my first matchmaking experience, and I can make more friends here even if I don’t meet my Mr Right," she said.
Zhang had dated her ex-boyfriend for over two years, but broke up partly because she decided to stay in Shanghai and work during the coronavirus pandemic.
Her former boyfriend works in Nanjing in Jiangsu Province.
"We found we were not a suitable match," she said. "I don't set certain conditions for my future husband, but a right feeling is the priority."