University students in China celebrate ‘Girls’ Day’ ... but some just wanted a sleep-in

Idea to send breakfast to the female dormitory at one campus falls flat

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 March, 2018, 5:23pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 March, 2018, 5:23pm

Students at universities across China celebrated “Girls’ Day” on Wednesday, a day ahead of International Women’s Day.

To mark the occasion, which has been observed on Chinese campuses for more than three decades, male students put up banners expressing their gratitude and appreciation for their female peers, China News Service reported on Wednesday.

“I have devoted my entire life to civil engineering, but I’ve set aside today for you,” read one banner on the Tsinghua University campus in Beijing.

“In all the piles of code we can’t find a confidante – it’s you that we value,” read another, apparently put up by computing majors.

Some of the Tsinghua students even planned to send breakfast to the female dormitory, but their idea fell flat – it was too early, and the women wanted to sleep in, according to a Pear Video report.

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At Hohai University in Nanjing, a “Queens Competition” was held to find the most outstanding female student on campus. The university said its aim was to encourage students to treasure every moment and make good use of their time at college.

Those vying for the title included students who had received a PhD offer from Cambridge University and those who excelled both in their academic studies and sports, according to the report.

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Girls’ Day started at Shandong University in 1986 when students decided to create a celebration that was separate from International Women’s Day, which falls on March 8. In Chinese, sanba means March 8 but it is also a derogatory term for someone who is foolish or batty that is usually directed at women. The students also wanted to differentiate themselves from married women.

In contrast to International Women’s Day, which celebrates women’s economic, political and social achievements, Girls’ Day is an occasion for men in China to express their appreciation of women.

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Besides activities on campus, the day has also become a marketing gimmick for companies selling women’s products, with men encouraged to buy gifts for their mothers, wives and daughters.

E-commerce platform Taobao’s “Queens’ Day” promotion began on Wednesday, while retailer JD.com’s started on March 1. Taobao is part of the Alibaba Group, which owns the South China Morning Post.