Friday, December 21, 2012

Celebrating love: Gahmen Style.

Back in Singapore for a few weeks, and already having so much fun! Here's a 2013 calendar sent to me by the Social Development Network of Singapore, encouraging me to date and marry and build the "basic unit of society" -- family! (I guess they didn't get the memo that I got married just like they want me to.)


I'd like to call your attention to the pink heart-shaped candy at the bottom right-hand corner of the calendar. It seemed suspiciously like the candies placed on all cakes at Bagels and Beans, NL, that I picked at it for a good whole minute before realising it was a stack of Post-it!

Bagel & Beans cheesecake

Curiouser and curiouser, the stack of maybe 20 heart-shaped Post-its says "I've a DATE with (blank)". But only 20 dates in a year? How to get married like this leh?

Another tickling feature of the calendar is the inclusion of not only all our national holidays, but also "special dates whereby love is celebrated in other parts of the world"! Because we're emotionless, and unhappy, and we need our government to suggest to us how to celebrate and show love!

So here are the other dates, as bureaucratically suggested by SDN (no offense to those who celebrate these holidays; I'm only critiquing the specific aspects of these holidays as picked out by SDN!):

24 February: Dragobete
A traditional Romanian holiday originating from Dacian times and known as "the day when the birds are betrothed", as it is around this time that the birds begin to build their nests and mate. If the weather allows, singles pick snowdrops or other early spring plants for the person they are courting. It is a common belief that during this celebration, if you step over your partner's foot, you will have the dominant role in your relationship
Source: Wfriends (more fun photos of kids celebrating!)

Alamak. This description is taken almost 100% from Wikipedia! (See Dragobete). It's incredible how non-discreet the SDN is being, what with the building of nests and mating! Come on Single Singaporeans, it's time (tap tap foot)! As for the stepping on your partner's foot  (a belief only in some parts of Romania), can't you see what an unhealthy view of relationships they are promoting? What's up with that?

12 June: Dia dos Namorados. 
In Brazil, Dia dos Namorados means "Lovers Day", or "Boyfriends'/Girlfriends' Day" probably because it is the day before Saint Anthony's day, a day whereby single women perform rituals to find a good husband or boyfriend. On this Lovers' Day, couples exchange gifts, chocolates, cards and flower bouquets.
Source: Portugueseblog.org

Also taken off the Brazil section on Valentine's Day! Again, putting the onus on single women to find a good male partner -- fits in well with the heteronormative ideas of family in Singapore (only married couples can get money for having babies!) as well as simmering contemporary patriarchal ideas (women depend on men, reason for fewer marriages are career-minded women).

3 October: Sweetest Day
Friends, family and lovers often give each other candy, flowers and cards on this day; and like Valentine's Day, it is associated with heart-shaped boxes, and the colours pink and red.
Source: Wikipedia

When something is from the US, it's conveniently taken to be universal. But even in the US, this holiday is only celebrated in the Mid-west, and specifically in Chicago. Actually, I think that considering the commercial and materialist origins of this holiday, having been called a "concocted promotion" created by the candy industry solely to increase sales of sweets, this is probably suitable for us Singaporeans.

The date isn't even right -- it's usually celebrated on the third Saturday of each October!

11 November: Pepero Day
Koreans celebrate Pepero Day on November 11, when young couples give each other Pepero cookies to tell their special someone that they are the only 'one' in their heart. The date '11/11' resembles the long shape of the cookie. Some singles also choose to say goodbye to singlehood on this day by attending 'blind date' parties or marrying on this day.
Source: Coreaporsiempre

This is actually pretty cute. And definitely boosting the sales of these long and thin cookies! But okay, we get the idea -- singles have to stop being single. ASAP. (On a side note, I do like these ambiguous representations of Pepero Day!)

Oh SDN, whatever will you come up with next? Pay us to date? Oh, wait.

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