Janiqueel finds out what Singles’ Day is all about.
Single is no longer a lack of options – but a choice. A choice to refuse to let your life be defined by your relationship status but to live every day Happily and let your Ever After work itself out.
– Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass
On 11.11.1918 at 11 a.m., the Armistice was signed and the horrors of World War I, “The War to End All Wars”, ceased.
In 1993 a group of four single students at Nanjing University declared it “Singles’ Day” recognizing the four uptight ones -11.11 – as symbols of their solitary life choices.
In 2020, behind their masks look at a world that in some strange way blends the two historic events and think of …. SHOPPING! This is Singapore, after all.
Online shopping, that is. E-commerce giant, Alibaba, saw the potential of an online shopping day positioned before the mega-events of Thanksgiving (in America and elsewhere), Christmas (in most of the world), and Chinese New Years (in Asia). The idea was a winner. 11.11 is now the largest global online shopping event. Putting Alibaba’s gross sales at a conservative $ 14 billion or so, Singles’ Day has eclipsed the revenue or traditional shopping days, even Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving in the West) and Boxing Day (the day after Christmas).
It’s a big deal, a VERY big deal. Hitting new sales’ highs in 2019, Singapore e-tailers basked in the commercial glow of a phenomenon that seemed to have found a niche in the shopping calendar.
But that was 2019 before the world had changed. Before asks were ubiquitous before shoppers were warier of rubbing shoulder to shoulder to snatch those bargains. 2019 was yesterday and, sadly, yesterday’s gone. Singles’ Day won’t erase the trouble and turmoil of 2020, but it does offer a darn good excuse to stay home, stay safe, and stay happy.
“Behold, let us receive the arrival of Asia’s craziest shopping holiday – 11 November 2020 – The 11.11 Single’s Day Sale!” – Cardable. Honestly, 11.11 is still a Chinese shopping sensation, but its popularity is spreading fast and Singapore – as you might have noticed – is not that far from china in miles and culture.
On a quick and Googly perusal of online sales happening here in the Garden City, I counted at least one hundred retailers eager to offer once-in-a-year bargains for the smart pre-holiday shoppers out there. You are one of them, right?
Pack up the laptop and head for your favorite coffee joint or leave your jammies on, brew your own cuppa, break out the biscuits, play your own tunes, and do your own online thing right there at home. Sound like fun? Well, hell, yes it is!
It doesn’t matter if your single or not. You are you and this is a day to celebrate that essential fact. Whether you are in the coffee shop or at home in your comfies, channel this Cat Stevens Vibe and remember that 2021 will see some changes for the better:
Well, if you want to sing out, sing out
And if you want to be free, be free
‘Cause there’s a million things to be
You know that there are