Our Indian correspondent in the field shared similar sentiments with regard to the pressure that his parents placed on finding a mate, seemingly above his best interests.Why are Asian parents so vested in their children’s spousal selection?At university, Sally dated a rural boy who was a student representative and, highly unusually, a sincere believer in Communism. ‘He wouldn’t even take pencils from the student council room to use for himself.’ But he couldn’t live up to the standards that Sally and her parents expected.

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She soon dumped him and, helped by a new nose paid for by her mother, snared a wealthy boy on campus.

A couple of years into the new relationship, however, she found the positions reversed.

After being introduced to her boyfriend’s parents, his news was grim. ‘My parents expect me to marry a girl of my own class.’ ‘My mother keeps calling me and reminding me I only have a couple more years to find someone,’ commented a weary 25-year-old friend.

China is going through a cultural crisis due to a huge generation gap between parents who lived in rural communes and their children who crave smartphones and Western values.

At the same time, Chinese culture still expects children to take of the parents, and are constantly reminded of their “duty” through a variety of shaming tactics.

Chinese parents actually push children into buying apartments they can barely afford to guarantee they’ll have a place to stay when they get old, as this article in Aeon Magazine describes.

‘I have a friend the same age as me,’ Luo the young professional said, ‘whose parents just paid the down-payment on her apartment.

But her mom has been staying with her since November, and she wants to stay on.

It’s a one-bedroom flat.’ Buying their children apartments isn’t just a simple investment for parents, but a guarantee, at least in their minds, of an old age spent in their children’s house.

The media often deplore the commercialised nature of young love, exemplified in 2010 by Ma Nuo, a contestant on a dating show; when asked by an unemployed contender if she would ride with him on his bike, she replied: ‘I’d rather cry in a BMW than laugh on a bicycle.’ It’s true that the bling-laden snapshots of triumphant gold-diggers on dating sites and boastful blogs are deeply off-putting.

But the criteria that parents give matchmakers, or advertise on placards that some of them carry around parks at the weekend while looking for suitable spouses for their unmarried offspring, are just as centered around salary, car and apartment.