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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Flip side of Valentine’s day celebrations

Always wanted to know more about Valentine's day and the reasons for why it is being celebrated as Lover's day and i found that there is no relevance to the centuries old tradition of feast on the February 14 and today's celebrations

History…….


From 276 AD February 14th has been celebrated by Roman Catholic Christians as a day of feast for Saint Valentine . Historians state that there has been more than one Saint Valentine (derived from Valens meaning worthy, powerful) and till the 14th century there has been no romantic link to the day of celebration. In the 14th century Roman Emperor Claudius II wanted to expand his army and he found that young men who were married we reluctant to join the army and hence brought out a directive that no young men should marry. However there was a Saint Valentine who was marrying the young men in secret and when the emperor learned of this Saint was immediately caught and was sentenced to be executed. The evening before the saint was executed he wrote a note to his beloved … jailer’s daughter whom he had healed and befriended and the note read “ from your Valentine”. This I suppose was the start of the tradition of exchange of cards, gifts between lovers .

Present times….

As I grew up 14th Feb has been just an another day except that Roman Catholics used to have a feast on this day in the honor of Saint Valentine. During the last 10 years with the advent of electronic media (TV & Internet) a immense hype has been created around the Saint Valentine’s day and the present generation has lapped up the same and added a new dimension to the day.
Peer pressure of the youth  today has diluted the traditional Valentine’s day celebrations of love and affection between intimate companions. It is a status symbol among the younger generation to have a partner on this day and celebrate the day so if you notice most of the couples may just be a casual acquaintance or someone with whom they have interacted over the Internet in a social networking sites. I do not mean that all couples celebrating this day are not following the traditional ways.

Today the Valentine’s day can be termed as a day of one night stand for majority of the couples…..With so many social networking sites couples married or single meet each other and generally make it a point to meet on this day and invariably leads to one night stand without any commitments especially when one of the partner is married.

Valentine’s day is a money spinner too in India and approximately 10% of the global Valentine’s day sales are in India. Roses has been replaced with mobile phones and other expensive gifts and most shopping mall all over India have a whopping sales during this period and gift giving ritual seems to be more prominent among the younger generation in India unlike the other parts of the world. Some not so good news of Valentine’s day are the suicides being committed by young couples due to restrictions to their love and rapes. 

In spite of  Moral policing by some political parties ,honor killings, suicides and rapes it does not seem to deter the younger generation from celebrating this day and Valentine’s day has entrenched itself in India’s popular culture.