Lunar New Year is nearly upon us and billions of people around the world are gearing up to celebrate. But with COVID-19 and social distancing measures to bear in mind, parties won’t look the same this year. Some will be held online, while others in smaller groups with face masks on. For single people who will be attending the latter, this Singapore-based business has something for you.
Like most family holidays, Lunar New Year feasts also mark a time to be subjected to extremely personal and intrusive questions from uncles and aunties. For single people, this usually comes in the form of inquiries like “When are you getting married?” or “How come you’re still single?” Lifestyle brand wheniwasfour has a solution: face masks that say “Gong Xi Fa Cai. I don’t have a boyfriend. I don’t have a girlfriend.”
The Chinese New Year-themed masks are priced at SG$10.90 ($8.20) and come in other design options like “Gong Xi Fa Cai. I don’t want to have kids yet” and “Gong Xi Fa Cai. I don’t want to get married yet.”
They even have one with a Bak Kwa design. Bak Kwa is a popular Chinese New Year snack that is similar to jerky.
Tan Li Ling, manager of wheniwasfour, told VICE that they made these masks because they wanted to have something unconventional yet practical for the new year.
“And with the current situation where masks are mandatory [in Singapore], we’ve decided to add a touch of humor into our new release to brighten the mood,” Tan said.
According to Tan, they get these questions all the time when visiting relatives.
“There have been times where we have been put on the spot with their questions and as we grow older, we tend to get used to this seemingly routine practice,” Tan said.
Started in 2009, wheniwasfour is a team of five that designs and sells Singapore-inspired lifestyle products. From kaya toast and coffee earrings, to coasters with local phrases on them, wheniwasfour aims to infuse Singaporean culture into all their creations.
“We want to bring back childhood memories, like old places and objects, to people, as they start to disappear in a rapidly growing urban city. …We hope that our brand can convey the message [of] ‘simple happiness’ to people.”