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You're the 1 that I want11.11.11 - a day to remember for 574 newly-wed couples and 300 singles alike
WHEN the clock struck 11 yesterday morning, Mr Wong Yeong Sang and Ms Lee Siew Boon, both 28, shared their first kiss as husband and wife at the Registry of Marriages.
Elsewhere, Mr Geoffrey Cassidy and Ms Miranda June Tang, owners of a private jet business, took their vows in the sky on the Singapore Flyer.
However, this special date - 11.11.11 - was a happy occasion not only for 574 couples, but also 300 singletons who gathered at a party organised by a dating association to mark the first Singles Day.
Their aim was not to find love, well not immediately anyway. Instead, they were there simply to celebrate the joy of being single. This helps them to relax, free from the stress of having to actively look for a partner, according to event organiser the Association of Dating Agencies and Matchmakers.
'Singles are constantly pressured by society about their status,' said its president, Ms Lydia Gan. 'As a result, some singles become shy and ashamed of being single and may shun social settings like Chinese New Year and weddings.
'These pressures can backfire and cause singles to close up further, which will not help their situation at all.'
Ms Gan said she plans to make the celebration at Soul Club in Odeon Towers an annual event. Nov 11 is already a popular festival in China because the double 11 in the date denotes singlehood. It was first marked in Nanjing in 1993, and singles typically celebrate it by eating four you tiao, or deep-fried dough fritters.
In a Singapore twist, those at yesterday's event tucked into satay while they mingled. 'When singles feel more accepted, they will be more relaxed and at ease to mix around more freely,' said Ms Gan. 'They can enjoy the journey of finding that someone.'
Computer programmer Alvin Yong, 27, said he felt far more at ease than when he tried speed dating.
'During speed dating sessions, everyone has some expectation of meeting that special someone, but here that expectation is gone,' he said. 'I'll be happy just making some new friends.'