Christmas Is Sad for Shengnv and Shengnan

Have you heard about “shengnv”? This is the name for 30 plus single Chinese females whose prospects to get married every year are quickly decreasing no matter how well-educated and good-looking they are.

Today, I for the first time encountered a similar word referring to single Chinese guys – “shengnan”.

Here is the story (loosely translated from Chinese) about the hardships endured by shengnv and shengnan during the holiday periods when they have family reunions.

Christmas as a Dating Marathon for Shengnv and Shengnan

It’s Christmas. Seeing how other couples celebrate the holiday together, many shengnan and shengnv flocked on forums and Weibo complaining about their misfortunes. Especially frustrated felt young people whose parents (relatives, friends) organized for them blind dates and turned their Christmas into “Dating Festival”.

“Tomorrow is Christmas, what are your plans?” 29 years old Ding Kui was caught by  surprise when his mother called and suggested to spend together this foreign festival “I and your dad are on the way to Hangzhou. We will go to meet a girl tomorrow.”

Ding works in IT company in Hangzhou. He hasn’t dated anyone since he broke up with his ex-girlfriend 6 years ago. Now, every time when he goes home for Chinese New Year, his parents nag: “Your classmate got married; your friend gave birth to a boy.” Until recently Ding rejected all blind dates arranged by his parents. But this time they found the way to enforce their arrangements (by going to Hangzhou). “I agreed to that date but it turned out to be 6 dates instead!”

Ding’s parents made thorough preparations in advance and in 2 days their son had different dates on lunch, dinner and midnight.

“These blind dates felt like some kind of trading. Each side would showcase its products, make comparisons and if the values are more or less the same – they exchange.”

Unlike Ding, his parents were very excited and after each girl would ask him thousands of questions.  For him, however, it was long and tiresome Christmas he would like to forget.

“l understand you very well” replied some shengnv on forum  “For me each holiday becomes the festival of blind dates. I was blind-dated on Spring Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, National Holiday and now even on Christmas. I already have phobia for holidays!”


Returning to the definition of “shengnv” and “shengnan” it’s interesting to note that the second word (used for single males) is relatively new.