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??

PHILIP DODD: Valentine’s Day is only important to lovers, people in a relationship, married couples and courting couples. For people who are alone it is just an ordinary day. It can make them feel sad, too, not having someone to share it with.

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

PHILIP DODD: I have read about Saint Valentine but I have forgotten the details of his story.

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?

PHILIP DODD: Maybe Valentine’s Day seems more popular than it really is when you see Valentine’s Day cards and gifts in shops and reports of it on the internet. Remember not everyone is in a relationship. Only those who are celebrate it.  

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

PHILIP DODD: I will celebrate Valentine’s Day this year as I am now married. I will make a card for my wife and enjoy the day together.

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?

PHILIP DODD: It is good that there is a day to celebrate love. Couples like having fun together. Valentine’s Day is just a day for couples to be thankful they are together to enjoy being in each other’s company. There is no pressure on them to do what they like doing anyway.

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?

PHILIP DODD:  Valentine’s Day is special because it is a celebration of love. My wife likes the cards I make with her, complete with my own comic doodles.

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?

PHILIP DODD: A card and a box of chocolates is what my wife would like on Valentine’s Day.

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?

PHILIP DODD:  Here in England, card shops and other shops remind people it is Valentine’s Day.  Face Book and other sites on the internet make people aware of it, too.

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’??

PHILIP DODD:  A couple who are in love with each other will enjoy Valentine’s Day.

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?

PHILIP DODD: I have felt sad in the past when I was alone on Valentine’s Day. It is not good to feel outside the circle. To love and be loved is the most important thing in life. Now I am married I do not feel in the cold anymore.

PHILIP DODD was born in 1952, live in England. He is married and he is the author of three books, Angel War, Klubbe the Turkle and the Golden Star Coracle, and Still the Dawn: Poems and Ballads.

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



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