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Singles Day: from joke festival to carnival of commercialisation

Posted By Toby Manhire On November 13, 2012 @ 2:07 pm In The Internaut | No Comments

Taobao Mall cashes in on Singles Day.

Chinese postal services were logjammed last week for what the Shanghai Daily judges [1] to be “probably the world’s biggest online shopping event”.

Singles Day, celebrated every year on November 11 – 11/11 being four singles in a row – began in the 90s as “a joke festival when singles were teased about being unable to find a partner”, explains Susan Wong for the Xinhua news agency [2], “but gradually it became a chance for commiseration and comradeship.”

And in recent years it is “has turned into another chance to shop”.

With retailers straining to profit from a market of about 180 million single men and women, the day has become debased, writes Shu Meng in the Chinese Global Times [3].

It seems that Singles’ Day is gradually turning into a carnival of shopping. With its commercialisation, our focus has shifted from concern with single people to crass consumerism.

All of which, writes Shu, both feeds on and foments a wider problem.

It is not a healthy social phenomenon for so many people to be living a single life. The increase in their numbers is a byproduct of rapid social development. Current society is fast-paced and high-pressured within which love is a time-consuming and high-cost activity for many young people. Inflation and sustained high housing prices increase the cost of marriage. These social problems make wedded bliss a luxury to those who lack financial security.

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URL to article: http://www.listener.co.nz/commentary/the-internaut/singles-day-from-joke-festival-to-carnival-of-commercialisation/

URLs in this post:

[1] Shanghai Daily judges: http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90882/8014370.html

[2] explains Susan Wong for the Xinhua news agency: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-11/09/c_131962075.htm

[3] writes Shu Meng in the Chinese Global Times: http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/743686.shtml

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