As the Korean explained previously, Korea celebrates Christmas, but not in the same way Americans do. Except for Christians in Korea -- who celebrate Christmas in a similar way as Christians around the world -- Christmas in Korea is basically an extra Valentine's Day, in which young couples get together for a romantic date concluded by gift-exchanging.
|This is the kind of image that "Christmas" evokes in the minds of Koreans.|
You can guess how well this sits with Korean young people who are single. But this year, the singles of Korea decided to do something about it. Two young men jokingly planned an event called the Battle of the Solos [솔로 대첩], which went viral online. So it was actually going to happen: on Christmas Eve, thousands of men and women would gather on opposite ends of the Yeouido Park. Single guys will wear white; single gals will wear red, by 3 p.m.. At the signal, the two groups would run toward each other like prospectors running into the empty lands of Oklahoma. By the miracle of love, the lonely hearts will meet, and spontaneous dating will happen all over the city. It's heart-warming. More than 36,000 people signed up on Facebook, which caused Seoul city government to deploy a thousand policemen at the Yeouido Park as a precautionary measure. Inspired by Seoul, the singles in other cities around Korea also called the meeting on Christmas Eve.
Did it work? Well, it half-worked. Specifically, the dude half. This is what it looked like:
|A vision of solo hell.|
Here is a bird's eye view:
|Red circle = girls. Yellow circle = guys. Yeah.|
It actually was not quite as grim as the pictures above. Apparently, out of the 1,000 or so attendees, 300 were women. Also, at least a few people did manage to secure a date for Christmas, like this newly created couple:
But it was clear that this event could not overcome the same fundamental problem that plagues any mass speeding dating: gender disparity. Even the women who attended did so with their significant others, simply there to witness the spectacle of the world's saddest flash mob. In fact, the thought that this might work probably shows why the two guys who thought of this idea do not have a girlfriend.
The winner of the event -- other than the lucky few that did manage to find a date -- is, clearly, Korea's Internet, which sparkled with many hilarious jokes. In Busan, a city renowned for its tough, macho guys, there were so few women that the male attendees changed the event into an impromptu wrestling match. In Jeju, exactly three guys showed up, stared at one another for about 15 minutes, then left. At Seoul, it was estimated that the most frequent attendees were: (1) the police; (2) pigeons; (3) men, followed by reporters, street vendors, cars, and then women. The situation was also likened to the ratio of sperms and an egg. Here is the Korean's favorite one: "Battle of the Solos was organized so that all the singles would be concentrated into a single geographic area, opening up the rest of the city for couples on dates."
Merry Christmas everyone. Don't spend it alone.
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