The struggle is real... To be in a relationship has always been an ongoing pressure, with grandmothers grabbing your cheek at a cousin's wedding and saying “so when are you bringing a handsome boy home?”. Thankfully times have changed and in most countries and societies we are no longer defined as women by our relationship status, just as men's manhood is no longer proven by the number of heirs they produce.
In modern society, being single is something worth embracing!
24 years ago four Chinese university students had been gathering for weeks, discussing how and where they were ever going to find girlfriends. Deciding on what the best way would be to bring a bunch of single people to one place, they began organising a day of activities on November 11 for single students to partake in.
The initial idea behind this event was for these four young men to find their soulmate at this gathering so that their parents would stop asking hassling them about it. On the 11th of November (11-11), single students arrived in their droves to take part in the various activities and party late into the night, celebrating their independence outside of a relationship.
Although the young men did not achieve their intended goal, they managed to start a movement amongst the youth of China to celebrate their individualism and independence. For years to follow this celebration was continued on 11 November and is still celebrated today. One being the number of the singular self.
This liberating day of independence, however, has another story not often told… A young Chinese man had fallen in love with the girl of his dreams. Committing his life to her, they prospered as a young couple at university, never wavering in their undying love.
One day the beautiful young woman was sadly diagnosed with a terminal disease and the young man’s heart broke as he remained by her side until she passed away months later. On her birthday that year, he went to the roof of their apartment and sat alone, longing for his love. Trying to console the young man his friends soon joined him, and as the years went by the crowd meeting on the rooftop grew as they celebrated life.
With the help of his friends and community, the young man learned to embrace his life and live for both him and his true love. Today the world celebrates with him on her birthday.
It is your choice which tale you believe, the liberation of four young men or the beautiful love story. But as when you're single, thankfully you get to choose. :)