Valentine’s Day – myth or reality?

SONGSOPTOK: Valentine’s Day has become one of the major festivals these days, comparable to Thanksgiving, Christmas, Diwali, Id, Rosh Hashanah or Chanukah and observed by men and women irrespective of religion. Do you agree? How important is it in the country you live in??

MARIBELLA: Valentine's Day is a big day here in the United States. It is not up to me to deem it agreeable or not but to create it's own importance in my life. For me, everyday is a day of love so Valentine's Day is just another reminder that love prevails in all that I do and say. Just love.

SONGSOPTOK: There are several different views about the history and origin of Valentine’s Day. Which is the version you know about?

MARIBELLA: Truthfully, I am not familiar with any story about Valentine's Day. Maybe I should look it up. <3

SONGSOPTOK:  Why do you think Valentine’s Day has become so important all over the world irrespective of the political, social and religious dimensions? Do you think that the anxiety and stress related to modern day relationships have contributed to its growing popularity all over the world?

MARIBELLA: Valentine's Day is another holiday that people can choose to or not to celebrate. I am not familiar on how other countries celebrate it really. It has become, in the United States, another consumer outlet. There is pressure to buy the right gifts and go to the right places. Yet, we individually can choose not to do so.

SONGSOPTOK:  Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? In what way? If you don’t, will you please explain why not?

MARIBELLA: I tell the ones that I am close to that I LOVE THEM, which I do at every moment I can anyway. I give them the gift of time which for me is more valuable than any material item. A little chocolate might not hurt LOL

SONGSOPTOK: Do you feel obliged to do something special for your spouse/partner on Valentine’s Day or it is similar to and as natural as celebrating birthdays and anniversaries? In other words, is there any peer pressure to conform to the traditions associated with the modern version of Valentine’s Day?

MARIBELLA: I do not let myself be pressured by other people's definition of what I must do on that day. I do what feels right. I do not follow tradition.

SONGSOPTOK:  According to you what, if anything, is special about Valentine’s Day? Does it play an important role in romantic relationships? Why? Is it important for you to surprise your partner on Valentine’s Day? What would be your preferred way?

MARIBELLA: Romance is a daily behavior; a holiday does not define that for me.

SONGSOPTOK:  Do you buy gifts on Valentine’s Day? What type of gifts do you normally buy? Do you think it is important to follow the norm and go for the traditional gifts like flowers, chocolates, cards, perfumes etc.? Please share your motivations or lack of them with us?

MARIBELLA: I do what feels right not what others think I should do. If we love genuinely, we would know what our loved ones like or dislike. I do not follow the norm. If I feel good about buying a gift to bring a smile to a loved one, then I will. If I feel good doing it again the next week after Valentine's, then I will. I also say LOVED ONES, which means it is not limited to our partners exclusively.

SONGSOPTOK:  Marketing Gurus often dub Hallmark as the official sponsor of Valentine’s Day in the USA. Do you have any equivalent in your own country? Do big consumer good companies carry out an aggressive promotion campaign for Valentine’s Day? What are their preferred channels? Do social media play an important role in this respect in your country of residence?

MARIBELLA: Hallmark is a main vendor promoting Valentine's Day. It has become another holiday run by greedy consumerism. Campaigns to buy the right gifts are very aggressive. Social media is used for “displaying” what our partners gifted us on that day. I don't follow that norm.

SONGSOPTOK: What are the popular customs related to Valentine’s Day in the country you live in? What do you think about them? Do you think that men and women actually enjoy and look forward to 14th February or is it just a matter of keeping up with the Jones’??

MARIBELLA: I think some people genuinely use that day to demonstrate their love as they do other days as well. Yet, in general, most people are pressured to do the right thing that day (gifts, etc) as they feel they will be judged for their actions. Gossip about unreached expectations blaze quickly. Love expressions come in many different forms.

SONGSOPTOK: Do you think that there is actually a social stigma for single, unattached people who do not celebrate Valentine’s Day? Do you think that the Valentine Day extravaganza may have a negative impact on their psyche, moral and ultimately their well-beings? What is your own experiences? Would you please share it with us?

MARIBELLA:  Again for me, Valentine's Day can be for all our LOVED ONES not just couples. Parents can celebrate with their children and vice versa for example. From my experiences, those that are single do feel some sort of way about this holiday as marketing is targeted to couples. If we all were to believe it is a day of love, none of that would play a part.

We sincerely thank you for your time and hope to have your continued support.
Aparajita Sen


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