Thousands set for 'battle of the singles'

2012-12-11 11:00

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • South Korea
    Accessible yet packed with information, South Korea will appeal to geography students and casual... Now R567.00
    buy now

Seoul - Tens of thousands of lovelorn South Koreans are set to take part in a "battle of the singles" on Christmas Eve - a mass dating event triggered by an innocuous query posted on Facebook last month.

More than 36 000 people have signed up for the event in a park in central Seoul since two young men jokingly floated the idea on the social networking site and met with an overwhelming response.

"We only asked 'What do you plan to do on Christmas Eve?' and people started to leave thousands of comments that they were single and miserable and had nothing to do," Justin Chanwook Jang, one of the two organisers, said.

"So we suggested this idea to help lonely singles find love on Christmas Eve ... we never imagined it would grow this big," said 29-year-old Jang, who plans to participate himself.

Some businesses have decided to enter into the spirit of things by allowing single employees the day off on Christmas Eve which falls on Monday, and around 200 firms have offered to sponsor the event.

The rules of "the battle" are simple.

Police informed

Women must dress in red and men in white and all gather at the park, which sits on an island in the Han River that bisects the capital.

The two groups will stand facing each other a few metres apart until the event starts at 15:00 - then run towards a potential date and grab his or her hands.

Those who manage to get a date are encouraged to post photos taken with their new partners on the event's Facebook page.

It remains to be seen how many of those who signed up will actually attend, but Jang is confident.

"I'm witnessing how social networking sites can help a tiny idea grow so big and so quickly ... it's overwhelming," he said, adding that more than 200 people had volunteered to act as stewards.

When it became clear just how many people might turn up, the organisers informed the police and asked them to help monitor the event.

Invitation to sexual harassment

News of the "battle" has been publicised on major Korean Internet sites and Twitter, with a flood of postings expressing both excitement, scepticism and concern.

"This will be a scene we all must watch ... a horde of men chasing after women to grab their hands and girls frantically running away," tweeted @ksmfilm.

"My only concern is white is not my colour. I'll pretend that I'm sick on that day so that I can leave work early," said one anonymous commentator.

One Facebook user warned that the mass event was an open invitation to sexual harassment and pickpockets.

The concept has spread outside Seoul and similar "battle of the singles" have been arranged in several other cities.

Some businesses, perhaps scenting a free marketing opportunity, have decided to embrace the event.

K2 Korea, a Seoul sportswear company, has offered all single employees a paid holiday, provided them with red and white jackets to wear on the battle day, and even promised a cash prize to those who find a date.

Low fertility rate


"About 70 of our 300 workers are without partners ... we wanted them to have the holiday in a happier mood so that they can eventually work better," a K2 spokesperson said.

Seoul online matchmaking site operator I-Um Socius also offered a day off to its employees - most of whom are young and unmarried.

Jang, who is hoping to interest Guinness World Records in what he hopes may turn into the world's biggest dating event, said he had been approached by a company in New York to organise a similar event in Manhattan next Christmas.

Out of a population of around 50 million, South Korea - one of the world's most-wired nations - has 31 million smartphone users and nearly 20 million users of either Facebook or Twitter.

But virtual social connection is not necessarily translating into physical partnerships, as a slowing economy and financial constraints cause many young people to put off the idea of marriage or opt to live alone.

According to Statistics Korea, 404 931 couples got married in 1990 across the country. By 2011 the figure had fallen by nearly 20% to 329 087.

The country's fertility rate stood at 1.2% in 2009 - the lowest among members of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development - before inching up to 1.23 in 2010.

That, combined with growing life expectancy, means South Korea has one of the world's most rapidly-aging societies - a trend that will have profound economic implications in the decades ahead.

Read more on:    south korea
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Land reform process lawful - Zuma

The land reform process is being done according to the law and the Constitution, says President Jacob Zuma.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

11 Julius Malema quotes you'll never forget
DA won't get 30% - Zille
The EFF's ad was banned, see why
Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Century City - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Ratanga Road Southbound
    ROADWORKS - lane closure between Ocean Spirit Avenue and Century Boulevard (until mid April)
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Spine Road
    ROAD CLOSED between Weltevreden Drive and Seafarer Drive due to roadworks (until mid April)
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get 50% off selected books!

Buy 2 books and get 50% off the second book. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Mother’s Day specials on appliances

Browse our range of Mother’s Day appliances to spoil and pamper mom. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia C3

The Nokia C3 Features a 2+ Megapixel Camera, A2DP, Bluetooth,...

From R1175.60

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be more sensitive today and can be influenced easily by the energies around you. Try not to be swayed too much by the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.