Wed, February 23, 2011
Lifestyle > Society > Valentine''s Day 2011

Pouring cold water on romance this Valentine's Day

2011-02-14 01:45:31 GMT2011-02-14 09:45:31(Beijing Time)  Global Times

Wang Ping (left) and Yan Yan, sergeants in the PLA's Nanjing Military Area Command, show off miniature tanks they made from bullet shells Sunday. They each plan to give one to their boyfriends for Valentine's Day. Photo: CFP

As couples set out Monday to celebrate Valentine's Day with movies and candle-lit dinners, some Internet users have decided to commemorate the day with a different touch - organizing online campaigns to stop people from celebrating.

To make this happen, Internet users have introduced several measures, from booking all one-bed hotel rooms to buying off all movie tickets in a so-called Directory for Singles on Valentine's Day, which has been forwarded thousands of times on the most popular microblog website, sina.com.

The Directory even goes so far as to ask people to go into the streets and slap other people's boyfriend's faces.

"We should all go out together on Valentine's Day and slap any couple who come along, and then yell to the guy, 'Don't you tell me it's your sister again,'" an Internet user wrote in his microblog.

The Internet users' directory and their extreme measures may be a light joke, but observers point out that the growing anti-Valentine's Day sentiment also sheds light on the increasing phenomenon of "leftover" men and women, referring to those who are years above the normal age for marriage but remain single.

According to a report by the China Physicians Association and several other health institutions, 54.3 percent of men and 45.7 percent of women of over 160,000 people surveyed nationwide belong to the "leftover" category, adding that 75 percent of the people in this group suffer from various psychological problems, from loneliness to anxiety.

The All-China Women's Federation used to identify men above 30 as "leftover" and women above 27.

"When the number of single people is now way more than the number of couples in the majority of places, is it still necessary to have Valentine's Day?" Song Chejun, an Internet user, asked on her microblog.

The debate over whether to forbid Valentine's Day has been going on in China as some people argue that Chinese should celebrate their own Valentine's Day, which falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. According to the legend, it is the only day that a couple forcefully separated by the Queen of Heaven may meet each other.

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