Love Is In The Air, Or Is It?

Valentine%27s%20Day.jpgValentine’s Day, like many contemporary celebrated days, began as the syncretism of various religious traditions. The facts and myths about the origins of Valentine’s Day vary and change from source to source. Truth and rumor have blurred together though oral tradition, as is the case with many romantic tales.

As the seasons progress, flirting, conversation and relationships progress. Valentine’s Day, the day of love, is steadily progressing and many people are trying to find that special someone to spend that day with.

Conversations about plans for Valentine’s Day may include going to a Valentine’s Day Social out to eat, going to the movies, exchanging sentimental gifts, or if you want to get real romantic, having a candlelight dinner by a cozy lit fire. Other conversations may spark about asking that special guy or girl that you have been checking out all year for that special date. But some people may completely disagree that Valentine’s Day is the day of love.

Much of local population responds to the soaring popularity of the holiday. The true statistics are unknown, however the anti valentines day community is more aggressive and volatile in expressing their opions. On the contrary, for many Valentine’s Day means boom to the usual businesses. Restaurants promote Valentine’s Day dinners, hotels offer balls, and stores advertise flowers, chocolates, and other gifts. Florists sell bounties of roses and barbers cut hearts into men’s head hair. Television shows organize love-letter competitions. Newspapers publish amorous messages and offer advice on the best places to tryst (naming cafes, malls, spots). Internet dating services enjoy a surge in usage, phone companies log added long-distance calling.

Islamabad’s due to its complacent surroundings offer ample opportunities for private get away in some remote floral abode. For those who want to have a cosmopolitan experience have better choices too. For shopping, Harron’s, Illusions, Expressions, Gift Paradise can be better options. Same goes for hang outs.

Valentine’s Day is a light-hearted matter, but efforts to repress it symbolize an intent to make war on modernity. In this way, the generational and cultural struggle over heart-shaped cards points to a battle now underway. Can the religious authorities suppress what has come to be known as “Lover’s Day”? Must Muslim governments double as nanny states, getting in the way of their youth’s social activities? Or do they have the confidence to allow families and peer pressure to keep this holiday within acceptable bounds through education?

8 Comments so far

  1. A for [pine]Apple (unregistered) on February 14th, 2007 @ 1:11 am

    OK lets pick it up bit by bit …

    WRT your 1st para – you can go through Britanica for the st. valentines’ story et al. and it’s not an HOLIDAY.

    WRT your 2nd & 3rd para – Dont worry the ones who would be actually SPENDING da insane day wud have their partners :P and as someone said in KMB that Valentine’s all about Capitalized Love …!

    WRT your 4th para – I’m anti-valentine par if you are a dokaandaar … chill n enjoy :>

    and on last para … I wud again say its kinda weird … why are we promoting something or behaving as if yah its just for fun … I wud agree with Phil in some comment he mentioned something of similar sort that things considered Taboos few yrs back are becoming part of society norms … and why do we see LOVE from ONE perspective only … !

    **I wonder if these gals and guys give gifts of thousands in abundance to their siblings or parents**

    Anyways since I’m against the idea so maybe I’m looking things from some other perspective … so I may get stick to it …!


  2. SELF (unregistered) on February 14th, 2007 @ 4:59 am

    Boy, you sure will disappoint a lot of people today. :) Please don’t smack them though, they mean well. :) I think. :)


  3. SELF (unregistered) on February 14th, 2007 @ 6:08 am

    Here are two that you would never have expected to be part of this;
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/specials/images/2312_valentine_zs/2232149_indian_women.jpg


  4. SELF (unregistered) on February 14th, 2007 @ 1:03 pm

    A for [pine]Apple: Here is one for you…..from a safe distance. :P

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  5. SELF (unregistered) on February 14th, 2007 @ 1:13 pm

    PS: Happy Valentine’s Day. May you be as much pain in the neck as you want to the one you have in your heart and may he let you be that pain. :)


  6. Nosheen (unregistered) on February 14th, 2007 @ 4:32 pm

    A for [pine]Apple: Valentine’s day ,should it be celebrated or not ,no specific comments but i guess it’s more of a euphoria ,any one who is currently in love or even not but having this nice feeling and wants to have that special loved one by his/her side truly and corely from the bottom of heart.I guess expression of love is very essential in any relationship.and that too at right time .who knows for some one out there this one is the right time.other wise “that too shall pass” ,and that feeling of repentance is killing enough.believe it.

    Self: enjoy have fun,the love is really in air. :P


  7. Message to all (unregistered) on February 16th, 2007 @ 12:29 am

    Valentine’s Day
    – just harmless fun?
    In this age of globalization and mass communications, we see that the flow of culture is heavily tilted in one direction-from the West to the rest of the world. As a result of this rather strong flow, many cultural symbols, practices and ideas have managed to seep into societies which previously prided themselves over retaining their culture and traditions in unaltered forms.
    The media work through a seemingly gradual process. Through a ‘drip-drip effect’, they first make people accept new things and acknowledge their existence, then they make people ‘immune’ to previously unacceptable things and then slowly and gradually those things become so ‘normal’ that there seems to be no harm in adopting them in their own lives.
    One manifestation of this influence of the media lies in the widespread celebration nowadays, of the ‘Festival of Love-St. Valentine’s Day’ in societies and cultures to which it is completely alien. The youth, particularly, have been the target of such media messages and drives by multi-national corporations and hotels for whom this event is yet another commercial weapon to earn more money.
    As Valentine’s Day approaches, a fever seems to grip our nation, with restaurants and hotels cashing in on the opportunity and offering special packages; radio and television shows preparing special transmissions; and cards, flowers, chocolates and hearts of all sizes flooding the market.
    But amidst all this joyous excitement one wonders: is Valentine’s Day really just harmless fun? Our concept of fun has been distorted in this materialistic world. We attach a high value to material things only. Does the celebration of Valentine’s Day really strengthen ties of love, or does it breed feelings of loneliness, isolation, deprivation and jealousy among those who have no ‘partners’ to celebrate it with? Does love depend only upon expensive gifts for its survival? What kind of love is restricted to only one day in the whole year? Are these the values and attitudes we want to imbibe in the youth?
    The roots of Valentine’s Day lie primarily in paganism. We are all ready to speak valiantly about our patriotism and our love for our religion, but unfortunately when it comes to proving what we claim, we stand nowhere. A nation’s festivals are an important part of its identity. Sadly, we weaken our identity by readily following other nations and cultures in their festivals, while paying little attention to our own. Most of us just blindly follow the crowd just because it seems fun, without really knowing the reason why we do something. If you ask people why they celebrate Valentine’s Day, most of them will give you blank looks and simply reply ‘because it’s fun’. Are we so apathetic that we do not care why we do something and what its harms are?
    We do not need other festivals, which not only breed extravagance and wastage, but also ruin the social fabric of our society by promoting values contrary to our own. We have two beautiful festivals (the two Eids) when we can truly express our love for our Lord and our families; when we can really exchange gifts, flowers and chocolates not just with our partners, but also to strengthen familial and friendship ties. We can also share our
    happiness with the poor by giving them charity to ensure that no section of society remains deprived. And not just these days, such acts of kindness must be spread over the year, because a Muslim’s kindness and love is not restricted to just one day in the year. This is true love and true satisfaction, if only we see it.


  8. 1967 (unregistered) on February 16th, 2007 @ 11:13 am

    @Message :

    My question to you is, Why the culture flow is heavily tilted from west to east? Secondly is this flow just limited to culture? Truth is, the world is a global village now and any one culture cannot be capped to one region.

    If you talk about our own religous cutlure, that has also been imported from Arabia. Our indigenous culture involves celebration on rabi and khareef and cutting of crop, Do we do that now? We have theoratically abandoned the culture of Indus hundreds of years ago. Different cultures have been influencing civlizations from eons. The process has now just be picked up speed due to improved means of communication.

    Why can’t you say that for other festivals, when the business of candles, fire crackers, and coloured lighting picks up? No one objects to that. Thas plain hypocrisy. Furthermore, a lot of new things are alien for the first time, but we adopt it. Electricity was alien, and still is to much of the population in Pakistan. That also has found its way here through western influence. We have not been able to add something more to it unfortunately. The festival does not bring business only to multi nationals. Local business men also thrive on it.

    People in much of sub Sharan Africa are suffering drought. More than half of our population does not have access to clean water. Does that mean the rest of the country should also stay in drought? People are simultaneously working on these issues. It does not mean that we stop all the activity in the world and start droolling over all the bad things around us, and just grove about the pessimistic aspect of life. Life moves on. As a matter of fact valentines day and such festivals generate business for many poor families. There are people who always feel lonely on seeing others in good company, who feel deprived not really objectively assessing their own assets. As for jealousy, you can’t stop it. It’s here to stay, and only the one who is jealous should be sorry. No one is forced into expensive gifts on valentines day.

    Many other things have roots in pagnaism but we readily embrace them. Like I said earlier, are festivals to be limited to only religous ones, or cultural ones too?

    If we don’t want the cultural ones, then why should there be any other like the “Independance Day”. Why do we have a flag? Why do we have a national anthem? Religion never had these things.

    The religous zealouts tip the balance towards the religous end and then sneak other stuff in through back door.



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