Xiaoying Zhou

Gift-Giving Follies on Chinese Lunar Valentine’s

(Via Bigstockphoto)
(Via Bigstockphoto)

[Ed. - With Chinese Valentine's Day just passed, we hope readers will enjoy this TLN classic from August 23, 2012.]

If love between two people is eternal, why do they have to be together day and night?两情若是久长时,又岂在朝朝暮暮?” 

Depicting the love between the Cowherd and the Weaver girl, two stars separated by the Milky Way, this famous verse written by 11th century poet Qin Guan has seized the imaginations of Chinese readers for centuries.

Legend has it that these two lovers, one mortal, the other daughter of the Heavenly Emperor, were punished for getting married in secret. The Chinese Valentine’s Day, which falls on the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, is the only time Cowherd gets to see his Weaver girl every year.

But how things have changed since Cowherd fell in love with his Weaver Girl. Today, guys get in over their heads seeking that perfect gift for their significant other on occasions such as Valentine’s Day, while the girls just don’t think the men are doing a good enough job. Two days ago, Qi Dian (@琦殿) started collecting terrible Valentine’s Day gifts on Sina Weibo, and within a day she had amassed enough responses for a 8,000-word infographic tweet. Translated below by Tea Leaf Nation are ten of the gifts selected by Qi Dian:

@淡豹子: “The first person I dated in college was a really hot guy. I was stupid at that time and didn’t understand the importance of being hot and thought that being smart was more critical. But after that, no hot guy ever asked me out again. Now I regret it a lot and can only balance my feelings of regret with memories of gifts the hot guy gave me. That was the end of September and we had known for only a week. He asked me out for dinner for the first time and gave me thirty glamour shots of himself in different poses, adding that I could ‘give them to the other girls in your dorm.’到了大学第一个约会的男生是个大帅哥。我那时脑袋进水,不懂帅的重要,以为聪明比较关键。可后来再也没有帅哥找过我了,我很后悔,只能靠回忆帅哥送的礼物来平衡无限悔意。9月底,刚认识一周,他头回单独找我吃饭,送了我30张他造型各异的艺术照,说“还可以分给你寝室

@梁小toyo: “I like chestnuts so he just bought me 10 kilos (about 22 lbs.) of chestnuts… 我喜欢栗子,他送了我二十斤⋯⋯

@黄低级: “A tattoo… on his body.一个纹身,还是纹他身上的” [TLN: well it matters what his tattoo is, right?]

@一往如曦: “A key chain with his company’s ad on it.一个印了他们单位广告的钥匙扣

@BearGreeny: “He bought a dress online that only a girl who weighs thirty-five kilograms (about 77 lbs.) can fit in… Is he showing his expectations?网购了一条七十斤的姑娘才能塞进去的裙子。实在表示对我的期望么?

@燕尾鱼的幸福: “He gave me a carnation!! What the Hell! Carnation! Girls in my dorm commented that he lacked maternal love.送我一朵康乃馨!!尼玛!康乃馨!同宿舍的人说他缺少母爱!

@christy孙二娘: “This is not my boyfriend but a memorable gift [nonetheless]. When I was in Great Britain, there was a boy who called me in excitement telling me that he had bought a pig head at the farmer’s market and was going to marinate it for me… There was another boy who used to send me a bunch of marinated duck eggs.不是男朋友,但是我永生难忘的礼物是,在英国时的一个男生,有天非常兴奋地打电话给我,说我在农贸市场买了个猪头,准备酱一下,送给你吃啊!还有另一个男生送过我亲手腌的一堆咸鸭蛋

@李影影倍儿来福: “My ex used to give his mom’s clothes to me and told me they really went well with me… what the hell, what kind of shape is his mom in! We broke up later.前男友曾经把他妈穿过的衣服送我,还说很适合我(你也不想想,你妈妈什么身材!后来我们分手了)“ 


@了了晕: “Underwear that’s several cups larger than my own size… And he wanted me to put it on… for what, catching the wind?大于实际N个罩杯的内衣⋯⋯还让我穿⋯⋯穿着干嘛,兜风么

@黄喂喂喂喂喂喂喂: “Eight bags of Lays chips!!!八包乐事薯片!!!!!

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Xiaoying Zhou

Xiaoying Zhou is a student at Yale University.
  • Danli

    This is so hilarious!

  • Claudia De Sierra Lepori

    Interesting, good to understand chinese society and finally all women react the same in the western and oriental world, :) !!!! we want a present that really was choosen thnking of us not big not spensive but the present that was choosen thinking in our taste.