A mainland mother has gone to great lengths to get her son to come home for Lunar New Year. The mother published a letter on the front page of a newspaper in Melbourne, in which she begged her son to come home for the occasion after her repeated attempts to force him into marriage had scared him away.
“I’ve called you many times, but you don’t answer. Maybe you will see this,” she wrote to her son Peng.
“Your mother and father won’t force you to marry again. Come home for Chinese New Year!”
The Ta Kung Pao newspaper reported that the mother lived in Guangzhou and Peng was working in Australia, where he graduated.
His family had repeatedly tried to get him to return to China to find and marry girlfriend, so he stopped answering their calls.
Not knowing what else to do, they bought a full-page ad on the in the most widely read Chinese newspaper in the city where he lives. The mother wants to remain anonymous.
The Chinese Melbourne Daily (right) has a circulation of 18,000 and, according to the newspaper’s rate card, a full-colour, full-page ad on the front page costs A$3,915.52 (HK$26,800) on a weekday.
Chinese children, especially girls, are under enormous pressure to bring home a potential mate during the Lunar New Year. Some will even rent a boyfriend for a day to get their parents off their back.
Boyfriends can be rented on Taobao at an hourly or daily rate, offering services such as chatting, shopping and going to the cinema.
One reviewer said she found her little sister a fake boyfriend on Taobao to buy time from her overbearing family after she broke up with her boyfriend. Another said her parents were happy with her fake boyfriend’s good manners.
Some Weibo users sympathised with Peng’s predicament, especially singles facing their own parents on Lunar New Year, which falls on January 31.
Many speculated he was gay and had eloped with his boyfriend. One user wrote, “Isn’t this even more pressure? Forced to marry, now forced to go home.”
Another wrote, “This is a princeling and it’s very likely he’s gay.”
Others were less forgiving. “Not marrying is an act of extreme selfishness. What use is this kind of son?” one user wrote.
Another commented: “Cut off his money, then he’ll come back soon enough.”