First, before I get started on this semi-negative article, I just want to say sorry for being pessimistic on Valentine’s day (probably because I’m from a country where it’s not a big thing or because I don’t have a bf or even a cute flirt buying me a rose) but I still want to share my thoughts on Valentine’s with you guys.
Every time, I arrive in China, I immediately feel like I need a boyfriend. Why? Because in China people just walk around in couples. I’m not saying everyone is but it’s more common to see an overload of girls hanging on their significant other’s arm while the guys are struggling with the heavy weight of a girl’s handbag and ten other shopping bags from their short trip to the mall.
Furthermore, in China, they don’t only celebrate Valentine today but three times a year. Well, one of them is called Single’s Day but that’s more made for singles to find each other at big desperate speed dating events or go crazy shopping online. We’ll come back to that in a moment. Anyway, all these loving festivals keep reminding us about the fact that we don’t have a hubby.
So in the world and China as well, today’s American Valentine’s Day is the first one in one year where single’s can hide at home buying stuff they don’t need online, eat too much chocolate, cry over a romantic movie or call their ex just to realize why they broke up.
The second one is a Chinese version because as you know the Chinese New Year has just been celebrated so the lunar calendar is a little bit behind the rest of the world which means that the Chinese Valentine is on a later date, more exactly August 9, 2016. Then the whole thing starts all over again. In old times, the girls would go to the temple and pray whereas today in the modern Chinese society, people just relive Valentine once again and of course if you don’t have a lover, yeah, you’ll probably be harassing your bank account if you aren’t out trying one of those speed dating things.
When your bank account has recovered, the next lover’s day is up, more precisely on November 11. Why? Because 11/11 is composed of four single sticks. Well, actually the day is called Bachelor’s day and it is supposed to be the day to celebrate the fact that you’re single but according to shopping statistics and blind date arrangements, it doesn’t look like many Chinese people are enjoying this singledom. I think this is one of the most commercialized days in Chinese society. I actually joked about it on Chinese social media last November writing: ‘So I don’t have to go mental on Taobao this time because I’m with a guy tonight’. Some people understood the sarcasm, some thought I was lucky (It was just a friend though but not important on this matter).
After midnight on the eleventh, all the good offers are running across the screen and people start shopping like crazy. Some might be celebrating their singledom but it’s mostly another day to show off your happiness and love for one another or spend money if you are alone and down because of this.
If you know a bit about the Chinese marriage situation, you’ve probably figured why I’m not a particular fan of all these ‘show-off-love-dates’, right? There are too many men in Chinese society, most of them living in the lower end of the society. They can’t find suitable spouses or spouses of any kind. Furthermore, well-educated women in the big cities have too many demands when they’re looking for a husband and the crazy-rich bachelors don’t have time to find theirs so it’s just going down-hill for marriage. With all these Valentine’s days, finding a suitable match can only turn into a sad and desperate hunt because all the single people keep getting reminded of their infortune of being alone.
I know that many couples are happily celebrating Valentine’s today but I also hope that the single people are forgetting about the marriage race and enjoying their normal and quiet Sunday either in a friend’s company or alone because there’s nothing wrong with that either.
Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone out there! 情人节快乐！