Singles Day, Obama Wins, 18th National Congress

November 11th is China’s Singles Day aka Guanggun Jie. 光棍 [guāng gùn] literally means “bare sticks”, referring to single men as well as the date of Singles Day, 11/11, which consist of four “ones”. Singles’ Day was initially celebrated at various universities in Nanjing during the 1990s, and originated from Nanjing University in 1993. After these college students graduated, they carried the university tradition into society. Singles Day has been largely popularized in the internet era and is now a special day for all fashionable youths.

First Scroll [right]: The people I fancy have all been taken.

Second Scroll [left]: The people who love me all look obnoxious.

Horizontal Scroll: Bad Fortune.

[Note: This bit of humor takes the form of a Chinese (spring) couplet.

First Scroll: Single last year, single this year, probably still single next year

Second Scroll: Colleagues are taken, classmates are taken, people my age all seem to have been taken

Horizontal Scroll: I’m Single

gloomy dog

What’s going on with the one who watched 33 Days after Breakup [aka Love Is Not Blind] with you last year…

[Note: This movie came out for last year’s Singles Day. The entire film can be watched online here.]

Neither confessing your love and being confessed to is scary. What’s scary is the outcome of not only not getting a romantic relationship, but also losing a friend.

crying Crayon Shin-chan

I asked a friend, “What does it feel like to go from being simply a male friend to a boyfriend?” My friend very seriously and matter-of-factly answered, “Nothing special, it’s just like upgrading your membership status from regular to VIP. You may enjoy more services and privileges, but at the same time you have to pay more fees…”

Yao Ming's smile

After news of Obama’s reelection came out, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Obama and told him, “Congratulations, Oba…” Before he finished, Obama immediately replied, “Oba Gangnam Style!”

Obama Gangnam Style

The mule (Romney) still cannot beat the horse (Obama)!

[Note: In Chinese, “mule” (luó aka luó zi) sounds similar with the first character in Romney’s Chinese name 罗姆尼 (luó mǔ ní). “horse” (mǎ) sounds like the last character in Obama’s Chinese name 奥巴马 (ào bā mǎ). This quip is also related to the Chinese expression 是骡子是马,拉出来看看 “(To decide whether it is) a mule or a horse, (you should) pull it out (for us) to take a look”.]

Obama and Romney shake hands

A comparison of speeches given by leaders from two generations: Although the Chinese economy and society witnessed great changes over the past ten years, very few changes have taken place in Party leaders’ speaking style. A danteng BBC report discovered that Brother Tao’s [a nickname for Hu Jintao created by Chinese netizens] 101-minute opening speech at the 18th National Communist Party Congress was not so different from his predecessor’s in terms of keyword frequency.

Clear message sent out: PEOPLE MUST PARTY!!!

Keyword frequency in CPC National Congress opening speeches by Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin

It’s said that the 18th Congress is a faction of Humanities underclassmen counterattacking Engineering upperclassmen!

Party leaders' majors at university

Translation of the above image:

The seven members of the (17th) Central Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China who are going to retire:

The (Central Politburo) members who are most likely to join the next Central Polituro Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China:

[Note: Traditionally, many Chinese leaders majored in Natural Sciences and Engineering in university, because China has emphasized the development of Heavy Industry since the founding of the country in 1949. Chinese society in general also picked up a disdain for majors in the Liberal Arts. A popular statement summarized this feeling well, “(If you) learn Math, Physics and Chemistry well, (you can) travel around the world with no fear.”]

And one more, perhaps a little old…

Why did Huo Qigang marry Guo Jingjing? Because Guo Jingjing will never ask him the question, “Who would you save first if your mom and I fell into the water at the same time”…

Guo Jingjing and Huo Qigang wedding photo

[Note: Guo Jingjing won the 3m springboard event at five consecutive World Championships. She retired in 2011. Her husband, Huo Qigang aka Kenneth Fok Kai-kong, is the grandson of the late Hong Kong business tycoon Henry Fok. This joke involves the widely dreaded question often asked by Chinese girls and women of their significant others, and sometimes by mothers of their sons. There is no right answer, only wrong answers.]

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  • Wang Gochu

    Surely an economics degree from North Korea would get you laughed out of the room? Juche ideology hasn’t exactly been a great success!

  • Serpico

    Oba-chan style…

  • Germandude

    [Note: There is a funny element hidden somewhere on this page. It’s hidden between a dot and a comma. Please inform all readers in case you find it. I continue searching in the meantime.]

  • linette lee

    …………it’s just like upgrading your membership………….

    hahaha…lol. That’s funny. From male friend to boyfriend is like upgrading your regular membership to VIP. You get more services but also more fees. ;)

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