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??

SHAMENAZ: Yes it’s true especially for the youth who are studying in Colleges and Universities. I live in Allahabad, India here also it is celebrated but mostly by the teenagers or College students.

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

SHAMENAZ: Since I came to know about Valentine’s Day I have heard that it is celebrated in the memory of St. Valentine who is considered as ‘Saint of love’.

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?

SHAMENAZ: Actually now-a-days youngsters wants to enjoy life and celebrate everything even relationships whether they are sincere towards its or not.

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

SHAMENAZ: Yes I celebrate but with my friends and cousins.

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?

SHAMENAZ: No, not as such as I am Single.

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?

SHAMENAZ: I think it is like a celebration of relationships. For youth since they have more times and they are more enthusiastic so for them it is one more day of enjoyment. For elder people since they are mostly busy with their official work so they get some moment of relax or celebration.

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?

SHAMENAZ: No not as such.

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?

SHAMENAZ: In India also Valentine day is celebrated throughout the country in different-different ways. Recently this has also attracted lot of attention by the Corporate world and they are trying best to take advantage of this new festival since it is very much popular in youth.

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’??

SHAMENAZ: In India, Valentine day is also celebrated across the country. People who are engaged or newly married are very much excited. And I do feel that men and women feel that they can celebrate their relationship on this day. Moreover it gives them opportunity to express their love to each-other and a reminder that relationships are beautiful and should be celebrated in any way they like.

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?

SHAMENAZ: No. I don’t feel so it is individual choice whether to celebrate it or not. A Single person can celebrate it with their friends, family members and cousins. I also want to give message to all that celebrate Valentine day in a nice way but in the name of celebrations please don’t hurt the feeling of any individual.

Dr Shamenaz is currently teaching English Literature at Ewing Christian College, Allahabad. She has a passion to write not only poetry but other genre of writing. She is the Author and Editor of 4 books.

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



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