INCHEON, Jan. 30 (Korea Bizwire) — Public agencies in the city of Incheon are raising controversy after having held a series of events aimed at helping to connect single men and women in local communities.
Incheon’s Seo District hosted a matchmaking event for single men and women last Saturday at a local institute in Incheon’s Jung District.
The 31 single men and 19 single women attendees included employees from Incheon’s Seo District Office, Seobu Police Station, Seobu Fire Station, Seobu Office of Education, NH Nonghyup Bank, and Sudokwon Landfill Site Management Corp.
A total of 13 million won (US$11,617) was spent on the event.
The singles participated in various group sessions prepared by a professional matchmaking agency to get to know each other, producing three new couples.
“Participants wrote the names of the partners in order of preference. If preferences matched from both sides, they would be named as a couple,” said a source from Seo District.
“The new couples were seated next to each other on a commuting bus to get to know each other better.”
Incheon’s Bupyeong District also held a matchmaking event at a local hotel last November, with 39 single men and women between the ages of 27 and 39 living or working in Bupyeong District invited to the event.
Incheon’s Yeonsu District also invited 50 men and women working in local public agencies last September to hold a special event to find the ‘perfect match’.
These events, for local public agencies, were part of their solution to address the situation in South Korea where an increasing number of individuals are opting not to marry.
The expectation was that these events would help tackle the low birthrate and other related issues.
“As for the reasons why people are choosing not to get married, many singles responded that they weren’t able to find a partner who meets their expectations,” said a source from Yeonsu District.
“Even if couples are not produced from these events, we believe they are still effective in cultivating a mood for marriage.”
“Provided the opportunity, these people can actually spend some time that they normally wouldn’t have at work to get to know each other,” added a source from Seo District.
“We believe that these events can foster a marriage-friendly environment. The participants in previous events were also satisfied.”
However, some have expressed reservations about using public funds to host matchmaking events. In Yeonsu District, the District Council cut all funding previously allocated to matchmaking events.
“There were concerns about the effectiveness of the events,” said a source from Yeonsu District Council. “Yeonsu District already spends a lot on other events, so we had to cut funding for matchmaking sessions.”
Bupyeong District, after receiving negative feedback on previous events, decided not to hold additional matchmaking events this year.
“The younger generation thought it was inappropriate for the District Office to take charge in marriage and birth-related affairs,” said a source from Bupyeong District.
“Some female employees felt they were compelled to participate in these events. The district has no plans to hold additional matchmaking events this year.”
M. H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)