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??

ANNA: Yes, I agree with this opinion. Valentine’s Day also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is a very special day celebrated all over the world by adults as well as children. In this unique time people show feelings to share Love, affection and friendship. They give cards, letters, flowers or presents to their loved ones. Here in London Valentine’s Day is very famous and popular. London offers really so many attractions and different ways of celebrating. There are many organised parties at various hotels and in restaurants, pubs, cinemas and even on famous bridges like Tower Bridge or London Bridge. People can drink champagne looking up to beautiful view from London Eye. In another place there are even some special boungee jumping for couples.

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

ANNA: I connect it with St. Valentine. There were at least three Christian saints by that name. There are also some art works where this day is very well written up, for example in the novel of Sir Walter Scott, before this day was mentioned even by Shakespeare.

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?

ANNA: I think Valentine’s Day has become so important simply because of Love. ”There is only one happiness in this life, to love and to be loved” as said George Sand.

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

ANNA: Yes, I usually celebrate Valentine’s Day going out to the theatre, restaurant or concert. Anyways, the most important is being together no matter. where, even at home it can be the best time.

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?

ANNA: I prefer candle- lit- dinner among sounds of great music. I like cooking special dishes and spending time in romantic atmosphere on this unique day as well as any normal single day. True Love should be celebrated every day.

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?

ANNA: It can be many different ways to surprise a partner or loved ones. It depends on the person and his/her personality and character.

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?

ANNA: In my opinion every single day can be like Valentine’s Day. The most important is to give Love and smile and follow the heart. As St. Mother Teresa said: “Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of Love.” Yes,, I buy traditional gifts like flowers, chocolates, perfumes etc.

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?

ANNA: Year after year Valentine’s Day is more and more comercial. The most romantic day of the year has become too materialistic.

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’??

ANNA: “I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.”

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?

ANNA: I don’t know, but there are so many broken hearts these days. So even every single adversting due to Valentine’s Day can have negative impact on their psyche. On the other hand what is more important than Love? As Walter Scott wrote: “ Love rules the court, the camp, the grove, And men below and saints above: For love is heaven and heaven is love.”

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


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