Mass dating event in Seoul called by Facebook
Female, Male, Twenty-something, Thirty-something… they come in all shapes and sizes to flood the streets of Seoul to meet their soul mate. It wasn't Valentine's Day, and neither Aphrodite's mischiefs nor Cupid's arrows had anything to do with it. Instead, this South Korean mass dating event is another proof of social media's power to draw the masses in search for romance.
Namely, South Korea's “battle of singles” was organised on Facebook when two young men humorously toyed with the idea on the social networking site and ended up prompting more than 36,000 users to sign up online.
Subsequently, about 3,500 people –mainly men in their 20s or 30s- showed up in Seoul's Yeouido park to take part in the event on Christmas eve. For the hopeless romantics' dismay, many of the women who did turn up brought their male partners and only attended to watch the event.
“Apparently most of the participants were young men… many left fairly quickly as the place was increasingly filled with guys,” a police officer in Seoul told AFP.
Women had been asked to dress in red and men in white when they gathered at the park in Seoul's Yeouido financial district. There, the two groups were asked to face each other a few metres apart until the event started at 3pm, then walk towards a potential date and grab his or her hands.
However, the strategy failed after it became apparent the two groups were too uneven and there were not nearly enough women to match with male participants.
“Where the hell are the girls? I can't find any,” said Kim Sung-Sik, a 23-year-old college student, describing the event as “utterly disappointing”.
“This is awful… I didn't come all this way to get stuck in a bunch of smelly guys,” said another male participant.
“I looks like there are more doves flying around here than there are girls…I feel like I'm in the army again,” he said, referring to the two years of military service mandatory for all South Korean men.