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Watch a Taiwanese girl talk about being over 30 and unmarried

No good guys

Intimate TV report about a single woman in Taipei

More and more Taiwanese are marrying late, or not at all. Well-educated singles in their 30s are quite common. Some have even given up on looking for their significant other. A declining birthrate is one result of this trend.

Der Tempel des "Alten Mannes unter dem Mond" in Taipeh
A place of hope for many singles: The shrine of the matchmaker god in Taipei

Why is that so? Most media reports focus on Taiwanese women. These are some of the reasons usually cited:

  • Pressure from work, long hours in the office
  • The desire to pursue a professional career and not let it be thrown off the track by children
  • Unwillingness to deal with a domineering mother-in-law
  • Problems finding a man who is both an intellectual and professional equal, and can accept a strong woman by his side
  • The realization that women can have a rich, fulfilling life without a husband or kids

Taiwanese girls with Western boyfriends often have to deal with clichees. Listen to their stories.

A Taiwanese lady on German TV

For their English program Life Links, government-funded German TV station Deutsche Welle filmed 10-minute portraits of singles in three countries: Germany, Israel, and Taiwan.

The episode is called #lovelinks. You can watch the whole 30 minutes, or just the segment from Taiwan:

Fixer for foreign TV crews in Taiwan

I played a part in producing this report. The German team had already got in touch with the protagonist Lydia and contacted me to act as their fixer (or producer) on location. This means I helped them to find locations, secure shooting permits, set up interviews, and generally make sure that filming went smoothly.

Since I am a professional TV reporter, and have filmed a number of reports myself, I have an understanding for what is needed when filming stories like this. It’s fun to help colleagues from Germany capture everything they need, and make sure their trip to Taiwan was worthwhile.

In this case, the team consisted of reporter Gönna and cameraman Robert. Both have a lot of experience filming abroad, for Life Links and other programs.

Watch Gönna’s Instagram pictures in this post about the filming

33, female, single, Taiwanese

They were lucky to find a protagonist like Lydia Chen, who was willing to open up her private life to the camera. Like often in Taiwan, personal relationships and recommendations played a part in making this possible.

In TV, it makes a huge difference if you have ten minutes for your story instead of only two or three. You don’t have to focus only on some crucial moments to convey the key facts. Instead, you can follow your protagonist along, watch her in numerous situations, and give her space to talk.

Are Taiwanese like Lydia a „national security threat“?

The interviews are not just about „What’s the situation, and how does that make you feel?“, but also about „Why do you think it’s like this?“

I think that Gönna and the team at DW did a fine job in portraying Lydia – and Taiwan.

Many viewers who never heard about Taiwan before will get a good impression of some aspects of urban white collar life and Taiwan’s thirtysomething generation.

What do you think? Can you relate to Lydia’s story, and is it representative? Would you agree that Taiwan is depicted realistically? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

About me

I am a German reporter living and working in Taiwan. Read more English posts on this otherwise mostly German blog. You can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Google Plus.

Video: What Makes Taiwan so Special?

English posts you might want to have a look at:

Klaus Bardenhagen

Klaus Bardenhagen


5 Antworten

  1. i have spent the last half year dating heavily – mostly from okc, but also doing street game and approaching girls myself

    i could talk about my experience for hours
    i have met tens of girls, had in the meantime one relationship for few months with a very attractive and interesting girl
    now found another sounds, who seems great, although its just the beginning

    there are many layers to this topic, its difficult to discuss, since some of them include local tradition and racial issues, which the girls often complain about and decide to look for foreigners

    i must say it was a great time and hope my search is over …

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