In dynastic times a matchmaker might be a friend or relative of the bride or groom or might be a professional or semi-professional entrepreneur who made it his or her business to find mates for a fee.
Moreover there seems always to have been a continuous gradient between amateur and professional matchmaking, with most marriages apparently falling towards the amateur end of the gradient.
Only the piglet has been chosen." My assistant had completed high school and had finished his army service, and it was clear enough that the next significant event in his life should be marriage.
I am most grateful to these collaborators for their expert assistance and their willingness to collaborate across the Pacific.
One phrase in this, "a parent's command and a matchmaker's word," (fùmǔ zhī mìng, méishuò zhī yán) has become a fixed, proverbial expression, used by modern Chinese to refer to the entire institution of traditional Chinese arranged marriage.
The expression itself is perhaps also informative, for it also stresses that the authority in a marriage choice rests with parents; the role of the matchmaker is as a source of information and advice, not authority.
The principal field data on which this paper is based include tape recorded interviews with 18 matchmakers and a questionnaire survey of 112 randomly selected married people (34 male, 78 female) from urban Tiānjīn at TASS.
Subsequently I had bibliographic help from two able UCSD research assistants, Amy ZLOT and TIAN Cheng .
The Book of Songs, for example, one of the oldest sources in the canon, includes the comment, "How does one find a wife?
Without a matchmaker one does not." asks Mencius how it can be that virtuous people do not appear eager to serve in government, given that serving in government is a virtuous thing to do.
Reference will be made to all of these sources in the course of our discussion.