Tianjin: more colourful in the rain, more marriable in the sun

Behold, the Tianjin rainbow:

It rained last week for two days solid. Makes me miss Vancouver when it does that, and it makes our British friends say, “This is just like England!” I took this photo on the way to class around 8am one morning.

Central Park Marriage Market

A group of us took a little outdoor migrating history lecture today, stopping for lunch in Tianjin’s Central Park, which used to be the main park of the French concession area. Since it was a weekend with fine weather it meant the marriage market was in full swing, and that means crowds of grandpas and grandmas were haggling with… I don’t know what you call this kind of service or the people who offer it.

The people who have all the stacks of papers with eligible young people’s stats deal with grandpas and grandmas mostly, who are trying to find someone their grandchild might like.

This is the third time I’ve been here on a marriage market day, and every time these crowds have been warm, curious, but not aggressive, and that makes them really fun to chat with. All a foreigner has to do is walk over, and ten or so people will gather around and start the usual friendly small talk. Since it’s an older crowd, no one is real keen to practice their English (unlike the university students).

Click these marriage market photos to see them big size. See pictures and descriptions from my first experience with the marriage market here.

Interesting historical tidbit
I learned some more the abandoned Zǐ Zhú Lín church building, which we’ve visited and photographed twice now. It was built in 1872 with compensation money extracted from the Chinese government by the French as reparations for the Tianjin ‘Incident’/’Massacre’ (1870). Foreign and local Catholics used it as a refuge during the Boxer Uprising (1900). It’s been disused since 1958. I noticed this time around that it has trees growing straight up out of the drain pipes on the side of the building.

5 thoughts on “Tianjin: more colourful in the rain, more marriable in the sun”

  1. 中心公园附近 即将改造
    希望保护好紫竹林教堂等 历史风貌建筑~

    那些父母相亲团还真是壮观

  2. 因为“迎奥运”所以现在紫竹林教堂附近很乱,路很 难 走。其实除了紫竹林教堂以外,那个区所有的街、楼 都越来越漂亮。他们还没拆那家教堂,可是住在那里 的 人都很担心,觉得教堂快倒下了。

    (Remember, all you English speakers can click on the Chinese characters to see a quick pop-up translation!)

  3. 不知道紫竹林还是不是教产 希望政府好好的休整一下紫竹林教堂
    泰安道上的那个 安里甘 教堂已经整修一阵子了 不知道整修之后是恢复使用功能还是作为他用。

    上次你说的马场道上修建的那个“教堂”我打听了一 下 ,据说是“俏江南”(一家饭店)盖的,主要是为 新 人提供结婚典礼以及就餐的地方。(只是道听途说, 不 知道是否准确)

  4. 谢谢你告诉我。

    Yabaliu says they heard that the ‘fake church’ was built by a restaurant for use in wedding banquets – at least that’s the rumour. I’ve also heard a different rumour from someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows the people who would know. So who knows…

    Weddings in China usually happen at restaurants and involve lavish banquets. People that can afford it often have professional photo shoots as well, so it makes sense that a restaurant would be interested in enhancing its wedding services. It’s not uncommon to see a bride posing for a professional photographer at scenic spots around town.

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