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Mother's front page ad begs son to come home for Chinese New Year

By Naomi Ng for CNN
January 30, 2014 -- Updated 0113 GMT (0913 HKT)
A mother's ad calling for her son to come home for Chinese New Year ran on the front page of the Chinese Melbourne Daily newspaper on January 14.
A mother's ad calling for her son to come home for Chinese New Year ran on the front page of the Chinese Melbourne Daily newspaper on January 14.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mother's front page ad begs son to come home for Lunar New Year
  • She promises not to force him to get married anymore
  • Many young singles dread going home to face probing questions about their love lives
  • Some resort to renting fake boyfriends online to get parents off their backs

Hong Kong (CNN) -- A Chinese mother, desperate for her son to come home for the upcoming Lunar New Year, has placed a full page ad in a newspaper in Australia, saying she won't pressure him to get married anymore.

"Dear Peng, I've called you many times but you don't pick up, maybe you will see this," the anonymous mother wrote, according to a copy of the ad provided to CNN by the newspaper.

"Dad and mom won't ever force you to get married anymore, come home for Chinese New Year! From your mom who loves you."

The ad, which appeared on the front page of the Chinese Melbourne Daily on Tuesday, would cost $2,796.80 Australian dollars ($2465), according to its advertising rate card.

The newspaper, which serves the city's Chinese community, has a circulation of 18,000, according to its website.

"We assume from the ad that the mother is from mainland China and her son is living in Melbourne," said Cecil Huang, the paper's editor.

The mother, who lives in Guangzhou had placed the ad after losing contact with her son, reported state-media Xinhua news agency.

Every year around this time, many Chinese prepare to head home for China's most important festival.

But many of the younger generation dread facing family confrontations about their love life.

On the online Chinese forum Tianya.cn, a single man asked for advice on facing his family.

"It's almost that time of the year, how should I explain to my family and relatives that I am single?" a user in Guangzhou "1979xiaozhu" posted.

Many of the replies were telling him to not go home instead.

User "qianlidaiwanwoduxing" wrote: "Going home means they will either arrange blind dates for you or you get scolded."

"This year my mom gave me an ultimatum. One, bring 50,000 yuan, second, bring a wife home. If I don't have both then she said I don't need to come home. What a tragedy," said user "fghjkh84."

Those who can't handle the pressure of nagging parents can rent a boyfriend for the day through China's online shopping giant, Taobao.com.

Rental counterfeit boyfriends come with services such as meeting the parents, shopping and watching movies.

One customer left a satisfied review for her purchase.

"He was very nice and humorous. He knows how to cook and offers to carry things when shopping. Dad and mom are very happy," the anonymous reviewer wrote.

Opinion: Why i dread Chinese New Year

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