A series of photos featuring 280 male students in uniform holding a birthday party for the only female student in their department has caused quite a stir on Chinese social media.
Wu Xun, majoring in marine engineering at Shanghai’s Merchant Marine College, is the only female student in the department and apparently gets lots of attention on her birthday. This year her classmates threw her a surprise celebration, standing in formation and singing happy birthday.
Being 169 cm tall with big doe eyes and long black hair, she has turned a fair few heads around campus. The college has a long tradition of only accepting male students, with Wu one of the few female students to have ever been admitted.
In 2015 the college reversed its policy of only admitting male students, Interested in engineering, Wu thought that she could apply to the college. “If a male student can major in a professional subject, so can female students,” she said.
With its military-style management, the college has regulated students’ clothing, insisting that all students must wear uniforms. Apart from taking classes, students are required to wake up early to do morning exercises in rows, chanting military songs and studying at night. Her personality and determination has impressed her instructors.
Her birthday, which fell on May 13, has left a deep and lasting impression on her. Touched by her classmates’ gesture, she cut the cake into eight pieces and shared them with the eight classes in return, subsequently making a post about the surprise birthday party on social media and soon went viral.
Netizens on Weibo wished her happy birthday, but some inferred that the male students might have had an ulterior motive behind their gesture.
“I think why those male students bothered to hold a birthday party for her was that she’s beautiful. If she were ugly, no one would show interest in her,” one wrote.
“I don’t think she has the gut to skip classes as the only female student because everybody would notice her absence!” another ridiculed.
By Katie Ngai
[Images via People’s Daily // NetEase]