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PKU Boys' Day celebration underway

NOV . 11 2017
Peking University, Nov. 9, 2017: Two or three weeks ago, new WeChat groups were one after another set up by female students from different departments at PKU, where discussions have been going on. While occupied in mid-term exam preparation, female students are also secretly plotting the festival surprise for their male counterparts.

It is Boys' Day on November 10th, which is celebrated widely across PKU.  Not until three or four days before the festival would the male students know what their female schoolmates are preparing for them.
 

Wishing cards designed by students from School of Government, School of Electronics Engineering and Computer Science, School of International Studies, Law School, School of Physics.
(From WeChat public account of School of Electronics Engineering and Computer Science,
https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/xsbvg-xnZQGSSfmkrQcMjA)

Some celebrations are of relatively large scales, organized by joint efforts from student unions in several colleges. Wishing cards are collected from male students and will be distributed to female students. A boy’s wish will thus be fulfilled by the girl who gets his card. Some would ask for small favors like preserve the seat for a popular course, while some might wish hanging out together to see a movie or an opera. Other events like group study or DIY Tanghulu (candied haw in a stick) are on the list of the activities as well. Students from different departments thus have the opportunity to communicate and exchange ideas through those platforms during the busy mid-term season. For example, a student from the School of Electronics Engineering and Computer Science, who has been writing codes all day, would gladly know how the fast developing e-commerce in China is helping expand its influence on global issues during the conversation with a student in the School of International Studies.

Tanghulu (candied haw in a stick) DIY activity by School of Foreign Languages, College of Engineering, School of Journalism and Communication, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering
(From WeChat public account of School of Foreign Languages, https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/2RGFjlckjgCX6BouoUEcow)

Other designs of celebrations organized mainly by female students from the same class or grade, units smaller than a college, are underway as well. Activities range from dining together, playing board games to visiting theaters or natural parks. Autumn in Beijing are accompanied by beautiful sceneries in nature. Students can go hiking among the colorful falling leaves in the Fragrant Hills Park, or have picnic and enjoy fresh air in the Olympic Forest Park. Preparations for such activities involve collaboration and coordination among classmates, while the conversations during the trip also help relieve stress in academic study. In this way, students are building a closer tie with each other.

At PKU, Boys' Day is one day ahead of Singles' Day -- November 11th. When written down in numerals, it is four '1's, representing the status of being single. Singles' Day originated as an "anti-Valentine's" celebration for single people in China dating back in the 1990s. Boys' Day was set the day right before Singles' Day, in the same manner as Girls' Day set the day before International Women's Day. Initially there was only Girls' Day, but later Boys' Day was also established as a tribute to male students' contribution to the campus. Still, Boys’ Day, like Girls’ Day, is an informal festival celebrated usually exclusively at universities and on different dates, according to Baidu Wikipedia.

Huang Jianying, a female student in the School of Life Sciences, also a major organizer of the class celebration, said in the interview, "We (girls) have been discussing the details of Boys' Day for almost a month. We are willing to spend time doing so, because we appreciate their contribution to the class and what they did at Girls’ Day. The four years in university is short, so we hope they have wonderful memories of Boys' Day each year.” She also talked about how they celebrated the Boys’ Day in their first year at PKU: “we prepared gloves for them since winter here is really cold. In order to personalize it, we sewed acronym of everyone’s name on each pair of gloves. The boys were moved by this gift."

Gao Zeqing, a male student in the School of Government, shared his Boys’ Day experience in the past. “On that day, to our surprise, breakfast was delivered by girls to our dormitory. The breakfast was bought from various sources, KFC, McDonalds as well as school canteens like Songlin restaurant. It is a special experience that we did not need to go out for breakfast that morning and could enjoy the food inside the warm room. It was cold in November, but they (girls) rose up early, bought and delivered the food.” “I really appreciate it.” Gao concluded.

Reported by: Feng Shasha
Edited by: Yan Shengnan