In a country where men outnumber women by over 33 million, finding love is not easy. The problem goes beyond numbers. According to Wang Yu, the owner of TanTan (the Chinese version of Tinder), globalization and China’s one-child policy are the main reasons for China’s single men problem.
Yu explains in an interview with Vice that shows like Sex in the City result in the naturally picky Chinese women becoming more modern, leaving millions of Chinese men forever alone.
This is great news for women who no longer feel the pressure of settling down by 27, the age when unmarried women become considered flawed spinsters. However, it passes on the unfair label “shengnu” (meaning left over) to men.
While Chinese men desperately fight the friend zone and the 10+ other men who also want the same woman, Chinese women are too busy enjoying single life to bat an eyelash. Could China be in danger of becoming the next Japan where 50% of adults are no longer having sex?
Do not fear, Qixi is here!
(I’m not even kidding, it’s actually today…)
Celebrated on the 7th day of the 7th Chinese lunar month, Qixi is the Chinese version of Valentine’s Day. It’s been China’s most romantic holiday since the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) and was traditionally celebrated by women demonstrating their needle threading skills under the moonlight and carving intricate designs on the skins of unsuspecting melons.
Traditionally there was also worshiping of the Vega star and children hanging wild flowers on the horns of oxen. The holiday is based on the legend of Niúláng and Zhínǚ, the ox-herd married a fairy who became a weaver girl to be with him. Zhínǚ’s mother, who happened to be a powerful goddess, was unimpressed with her daughter’s decision and banished her to heaven. The goddess created a river of stars (the Milky Way) to separate the (literally) star-crossed lovers and only allowed them to meet once a year on Qixi!
Today, the holiday is celebrated just like Valentine’s Day with flowers, chocolate and romantic dinner dates. It is also a popular time to organize mass blind dates for anyone still looking for their special someone. Large public dating events do happen all year long, so not falling in love on Qixi is not the end of the world. Plus, the Chinese celebrate Western Valentine’s Day too which means more flowers, chocolate and opportunities to meet “the one”.
Almost every country has their own version of Valentine’s Day. Leave a comment with your favorite V-Day alternative or feel free to tell me just how much you hate commercialized holidays 😉