In keeping with the objectives of Southern Brands: To inspire, inform – educate and entertain, we wish to introduce: Thinking Aloud; an engaging column to our esteemed and valued readers. As the name implies, it promises to engage our readers as they reflect on the day to day issues of life, or rather societal issues. It welcomes meaningful and articulated contributions from our readers – poetic expressions, write-ups and critics. In this maiden edition, the focus is on Valentine’s Day: Lover’s Day.
Love they say is a beautiful thing…! What manner of love…? Is it the one between husband and wife, boy friend and girl friend…? Or, the one – these days – in which a brother says ‘I Do’ to another brother, a sister to another sister… in some societies! Or is love the feeling that binds people together as members of a family, community… and nation?
As a beautiful thing like they say, does its celebration or rather expression go beyond a particular day; reflecting on the way people treat each other, even the less privileged on daily basis?
One would want to ask: what is the history behind this Valentine’s Day that goes with parties, exchange of gifts…expression of emotions – young people and the young at heart doing their things! What things…? ‘You know na…!’ This takes us to the ‘Culture Diffusion’ of Valentine’s Day. Culture diffusion is one of the concepts in the study of culture. It analyses the origin and spread of a culture from a society to others.
According to Wikipedia:
Saint Valentine’s Day, commonly known as Valentine’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is observed on February 14 each year. It is celebrated in many countries around the world, although it remains a working day in most of them. It began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. The most popular martyrology associated with Saint Valentine was that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire; during his imprisonment, he is said to have healed the daughter of his jailer Asterius. Legend states that before his execution he wrote “from your Valentine” as a farewell to her. Today, Saint Valentine’s Day is an official feast day in the Anglican Communion, as well as in the Lutheran Church. The Eastern Orthodox Church also celebrates Saint Valentine’s Day, albeit on July 6th and July 30th, the former date in honor of the Roman presbyter Saint Valentine, and the latter date in honor of Hieromartyr Valentine, the Bishop of Interamna (modern Terni).
The day was first associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. By the 15th century, it had evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines”). Valentine’s Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.
If this history is anything to go by, Valentine’s Day originated from the ancient Roman Empire and spread to other societies among Christians. One thing is worthy of note here: St Valentine died – he paid the ultimate prize for showing love to the suppressed… and persecuted! That was love beyond measure…! This could be my take; what’s your view about ‘Valentine’s Day’?
We look forward to your comments!
You can also send your own ‘Thinking Aloud’ write-ups to… firstname.lastname@example.org Let’sThink Aloud!