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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

Communist Party of China’s youth league hires train to get singles hitched

Those on the train mingled freely with others besides solving “love puzzles” and playing games related to relationships and friendship.

world Updated: Aug 22, 2019 16:47 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times, Beijing
Representative image
Representative image(AP)

The Communist Youth League of China (CYLC) is taking its vow to play matchmaker to millions of singles in the country quite passionately.

Earlier this month, it hired 10 compartments of a train from Chongqing in southwestern China to Qianjiang in Hubei province solely for 1000 single young men and women to spend a two-day, one-night journey.

Their pre-determined destination: love or the pursuit of it; the train was appropriately named the “love pursuit train” for the particular journey. Those on the train were chosen through recommendations of other CYLC members.

Those on the train mingled freely with others besides solving “love puzzles” and playing games related to relationships and friendship.

The idea was for the young men and women to first know each other and then gradually fall in love, said a write-up on the Chinese media portal, Sohu.

“Since its launch three years ago, the train, on its third trip and known as the ‘Y999 Love-Pursuit Train’, has set up a platform for more than 3,000 single youths in southwest China’s Sichuan province and Chongqing to make friends,” it said, adding that “…so far, hundreds of people have fallen in love and nearly 10 pairs have married, thanks to the train”.

Of course, it wasn’t only play: The journey also involved celebrating 70 years (this year) of the founding of New China and “reliving” the history.

The makeover of CYLC’s makeover from a revolutionary movement to also a matchmaking one is not without reason: It is partly to send a message to the Chinese youth that the CYLC is not just their Communist party-appointed leader but a friend too.

A large number of singles in China will not be good for the country, is also the thinking within the Communist Party of China (CPC).

China had more than 200 million singles in 2018, and it’s actually a massive job for CYLC to find them partners. In 2017, it had promised to do so.

The group had announced, as per Communist party mouthpiece, People’s Daily, that it would help the “…single young people in China by organising social events, and to coordinate the judiciary to regulate the matchmaking industry, so as to help the single youth to find their life partners”.

“To better serve the young people and stay close to the young people, the CYL is carrying out a series of reforms to innovate their work. Helping the younger generation with their dating and marriage problems is one of such moves,” the People’s Daily had said.

The same year, the CYLC’s Zhejiang province branch had organised a blind date event where at least 2000 singles managed to meet potential partners.

First Published: Aug 22, 2019 16:47 IST

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