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Romance, Chinese style (2)

By Tiffany Tan (China Daily)

14:45, August 21, 2012

According to a survey on digital media portal Sina, 65 percent of respondents don't have plans for Qixi, while 21 percent don't even mark the date.

When asked which occasion they prefer, 30 percent said they like Qixi better than Valentine's Day while 21 percent said the opposite.

These results won't surprise some social scientists.

"Chinese people don't have a Valentine's Day," says Chen Xiaomin, a sociology professor in Shanghai and director of the Chinese Research Society on Marriage and Family. "Qixi is a beautiful, ancient legend that's been passed on from generation to generation, but it has not become a Chinese festival.

"Qixi becoming China's Valentine's Day happened largely from the localization of Western Valentine's Day," she says, adding that commercialization has also played a role.

Businesses like flower shops, restaurants and hotels around the country are definitely banking on Aug 23 to bump up their sales. A number of travel agencies are even offering package tours overseas for the occasion.

Some customers, like Beijing PR consultant Terence Hew, might make big plans for the day without even realizing its significance. Last year, Hew and his Chinese wife booked their Malaysian wedding ceremony in his hometown of Kuala Lumpur for Aug 6.

But it wasn't until two months after the date was set that the couple found out the big day would fall on Chinese Valentine's Day.

【1】 【2】


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