Wednesday, 11 November 2015

November 11's Many Meanings

This year not many people wore British poppies in Hong Kong
Today is Remembrance Day for those in the UK and Canada. Considering Hong Kong was a colony of Britain, and many British and Canadian soldiers died defending the city against the Japanese in World War II, it's shocking that not many people wore poppies today.

Last night I went to an event at the British Consulate and was very surprised to find hardly any people -- English people -- wore the red paper flower on their lapels.

Granted the poppies aren't easily available everywhere, one has to go out of his or her way to wear one.

Can I also add how hard it is to wear a British poppy? It's a paper red flower with one green leaf, supposedly pointed at 11 o'clock, and then they are put together with a plastic green stem.

Men can easily wear this poppy by sticking it in the lapel buttonhole. But what if you're not wearing a jacket or it doesn't have a lapel buttonhole?

These last two days I've pinned it to my jacket, and amazingly it hasn't been destroyed. I miss the Canadian poppies, which comes with a pin instead of a green plastic stem so it's much easier to wear.

Jack Ma with Daniel Craig during a gala TV show
In any case, the other important day to mark here is Singles Day in China.

No one knows exactly when it started, but sometime back in the mid-1990s, when four single male university students decided to have a kind of anti-Valentine's Day, since November 11 is 11/11.

It eventually grew into a day for single people to get together, and then retailers quickly caught on, marketing it as a day to treat oneself to buying something special.

Then Alibaba hijacked the idea as November 11 being Singles Day and an opportunity to buy things online.

Last year Alibaba made $9.3 billion, and this year by 5pm beat the record with $10 billion.

This year Alibaba boss Jack Ma enlisted the help of Daniel Craig to push up sales on a gala TV show, and Kevin Spacey does a funny take on Singles Day with this video:

As the President of the United States, his Frank Underwood character makes it seem like anything in the US is for sale...

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