The informant first heard this phrase at the end of his 8th grade year in school, year 2000, from his female cousin. It was 11:11 A.M., although this phrase can be said at either 11:11 A.M. or 11:11 P.M., and his cousin told him that if you spontaneously look at the clock and it is 11:11 A.M. or P.M., then you can make a wish inside your mind and then it will come true. “It’s 11:11,” she said, “make a wish.” The informant remembers it clearly because he remembered thinking, “What is this? I’ve never heard it before.” It remained in his mind and he likes to use it whenever he sees 11:11 on the clock because it helps to lighten the mood and he believes deep down that everyone like to make wishes, even though they might not believe that 2 times a day a person can close their eyes and make two wishes that will necessarily come true.
Though being Vietnamese does not really have much to do with the 11:11 saying, the theme of making a wish does seem transcend different cultures. Similarly, it does show that everyone has a child within them. Though hardly anyone would admit to believing that making a wish at 11:11 would actually result in the wish coming true, many people still say “make a wish” and silently make a wish themselves, for fun or sometimes just for the sake of seeing whether or not it will come true. Also, typically this type of saying is between a boy and a girl, though it is not restricted. Generally, however, girls are more likely to say it to their own sex than are boys. As in the informant’s case, family relation has nothing to do with the saying, though in some cases this saying can be used flirtatiously between boys and girls, when they can wish that the boy or girl that they like will like them back and maybe ask them out or something similar.