Thursday, March 13, 2008

Why So Many Chinese Men are Single

Have you ever wondered why many immigrant Chinese men remain bachelors all their life?

I am not saying that many Foochow men in Sibu have remained bachelors. Statistically that is not a proven statement. But in many countries, I have been told, the immigrant Chinese men, and also the Chinese in Mainland China today, are still bachelors even in their forties. And if they don't ever get married, they will reach their old age as old bachelors.

While most men would find it a necessity to marry and have a family, it has been found out by researchers that some Chinese men consider it virtuous to stay single and be within a certain kind of fraternity. For example many of the the cultural troupes from China and Korea have single men who remain loyal to their art long after they retire from their performances. Some of the modern kungfu fraternities are filled by members who remain single all their life.

Many Chinese men in the 1950's and 60's in China after the Revolution had found it expensive to marry so they remained single. Some were divorced during the Revolution but they maintained their single life after their divorce. According to research, many of the farmers could not fine a suitable wife because they did not have anyone to choose from, as most of the single female workers have gone to the cities to look for jobs and better marriage prospects.

Now this new "phenomenon" has actually quite upset the so called apple cart in China where it has always carried out the Confucian teaching that men must marry to carry on the family surname, thus producing a male heir was like a life long objective of a Chinese male. this new finding has indeed been much debated upon.

Furthermore,with the new imbalance male:female ratio in China because of the one child policy, more and more men will remain single. It has been the cause of concern for many demographers lately.

In many other countries where the Chinese males have migrated to, it has also been found that many remain single all their lives. They had started off working very hard and probably had been sending money back to China. when the time came for them to look for a bride, either their choice had married or they had no choice left. Sometimes, a bride by mail order might be sent to them but the consequences might not have been too positive.

Because they are immigrants, they will find it difficult to marry local born, but more educated Chinese women, unless of course, they are themselves very well educated.

But with new values, new mobility all over the world, Chinese men should now have no problems of finding a life time partner. But then perhaps unknown to us, some secret societies will continue to have a large number of unmarried Chinese men members.

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