"Spinsters" in China

Today we take a look at the Chinese phrase "剩女 (shèngnǚ)." The term shows up every day in newspapers, TV shows and daily life. Can you guess its meaning? "剩 (shèng)" means to remain, or to be left and "女 (nǚ)" means female. When put together, it’s a term used to describe single girls above the average age for marriage in Chinese society.

In Chinese culture, people at the age of 25 are expected to marry; this is especially the case for young ladies. If a person remains single beyond this age, society will begin to urge them to marry, especially their parents. Now the number of "剩女 (shèngnǚ)" in China has grown somewhat rapidly and is still growing, edging its way into becoming a social norm.


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