For many of us in the 'western' world, Christmas is a time for traveling back to your hometown, eating a home-cooked meal with your family, and exchanging and opening the presents that Santa Claus gave you, all over a soundtrack of Bing Crosby and Michael Bublé Christmas caroling standards.
In much of East Asia, however, it's essentially Valentine's Day on crack - a holiday for the region's couples to exchange romantic presents, eat an expensive dinner, and do an array of cutesy winter activities like ice-skating. Needless to say, in the weeks approaching December 25th, the pressure to link up is at an all-time high - and, this year, some of Japan's 'forever alone' fellows are taking a stand.
This weekend, the self-described 'Losers With Women' hosted an anti-Christmas rally through the streets of Tokyo's Shibuya district. About 20 men ranging in age held signs with slogans like "Smash Christmas!" and chanted a number of anti-capitalist phrases, making the argument that the holiday pressures not only single people to couple up, but established couples to spend money - perpetuating a very commercial-heavy cycle.
According to an anonymous member of the group, they hope to convince others that Christmas has only a greedy purpose, and that pressure on single men to find a mate for the holidays should be eliminated:
"Unpopular men, who don't have a girlfriend or are not married, are overly discriminated against. We want to break this barrier."
Allegedly, Christmas is not the only holiday the group has protested against, having held a similar rally for Valentine's Day. (What happens when one of these guys finally gets a girlfriend? Do they get kicked out? Is this like the Japanese single dude equivalent of that Puerto Rican boyband Menudo? Does any of you know who Menudo is, or are my references getting super dated?)
Anyway, now I want to know:
Do you think the 'Losers With Women' have a point, or are they simply trying to spoil the holiday fun?
Let me know in the comments below, and for more WTF news, follow my WTF Street Journal collection!