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Answer to the Exercise on Singles’ Day on November 11th in China

Nov. 3, 2014

Correct Answer: B

Chinese people tend to put a lot of importance on numbers and they like to associate different numbers with various meanings. For example, Chinese people have come up with an interesting holiday associated with the day November 11th (11.11). This holiday is called “光棍节(ɡuānɡɡùn jié)” Singles’ Day.

November 11, Singles’ Day, originates from the number “11.11” which resembles four “光棍(guānɡ ɡùn) sticks,” and is actually short for “光滑的棍子(ɡuānɡ huá de ɡùnzi) smooth sticks.” In Chinese, the word ““光棍(guānɡ ɡùn) stick” also holds the meaning of “bachelordom”. Accordingly, Singles’ Day is an alternative festival for those who are single.

The real origin of Singles’ Day is still a mystery, as there is a great deal of speculation and arguments about it. Among them, perhaps the most credible one is that the day was generated in campus culture. In 1993, four senior students from Nanjing University had a discussion about how to take their minds off of their bachelor status on the day 11.11 and, subsequently, organized some activities to do the trick. From then on, Singles’ Day has developed into a fun part of university campus culture in Nanjing and even around the nation. With batch after batch of students bidding farewell to the campus, the festival has gradually been brought into general society and continues to develop due to large numbers of single men and women. The concept has also spread across the Internet and other media platforms. Finally, the unique culture of Singles’ Day that we know today came into existence.

As China’s youth population steadily grows, Singles’ Day continues to become more and more popular throughout the country with the introduction of a variety of activities to celebrate it. On this day, groups of single friends get together, go for a drink, chat, head to KTV and shopping, and simply enjoy a fun time together.

One interesting activity is to eat four “油条(yóutiáo) dough sticks” and one “包子(bāozi) steamed bun” which represent the four “1’s” and the dot in “11.11”. If you do this, you just might be lucky enough to not be celebrating (or mourning) Singles’ Day next year.

Of course, corporations also seize the opportunity to commercialize the holiday by offering discounts and special promotions, making November 11th not only a special day for youth, but also a hay day for businesses. All the shopping malls, supermarkets and online shopping sites introduce a variety of flash sales to boost profits. It is actually a win-win situation because, for customers, the discounts and savings are also quite attractive. Essentially, the “Double Eleven” festival has turned into a big day for shopping.

Singles’ Day 2014 is coming up soon. Hopefully you will get the chance to experience the lively atmosphere of the day for yourself!

Now let’s go back and take a look at the test. Because we call November 11th “光棍节(ɡuānɡɡùn jié) Singles’ Day,” the correct answer is B.

<<Back to “Singles’ Day on November 11th in China”

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