Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's day- celebrating love or consumerism?

Well, it is getting ready to be 14th February  and  VALENTINE's day once again..! I cant help but notice all the products that are being advertised in the name of Valentine's day- greeting cards, chocolates, flowers you name it... even langerie ( yes I got some text messages from a shop advertising special sales for the 14th of Feb)!

I am trying to think back to the time when I was younger to remember if there were any special celebrations for Valentine's day? I dont think so...! Yes we knew somewhere that 14th Feb was called Valentine's day after a St. Valentine(?) but thats about it...! Never did we see this kind of hype about this day..

But wait- are these ads all about the day or the products? I think the later may be the case. It was not as if there was no love before the greeting card companies started printing mushy cards and the gifts shops strated putting up teddy bears with hearts on their windows.  It is just a marketing gimmick that is trying to cash in on an emotion that many feel but do not know how to express.

I am sometimes very surprised at the way we think that love would be incomplete without candle light and roses...! Really sad because true love is something that is felt in so many different ways. It often does not even require to be stated. When I see my father sitting with my mother during their various visits to the doctor's I know that this is love. This love has endured over fifty years of married life and one near loss  during their early days together, when my mother almost died of haemorrage due to an ectopic pregnancy. This love saw them through hardships and bringing up two children on one person's salary. It saw them scrimp and save so that their daugthers could have the best education. Yet, if you ask either of them if they  have heard about Valentine's day you would draw a blank!

The closest I came to getting a gift for Valentine's day was on 14th Feb a couple of years ago when my husband managed to fix up our kitchen sink- a job that took over a week and finally came to an end on the 14th of Feb after the plumber and his team packed up their tools. " Is that my Valentine's day gift" I asked him?  "Uhhh?"  he said.. But I was touched- he had noticed the trouble I was having with a sink that was not working properly and this was his way of  telling me that he cared...!

But coming back to all this noise about Valentine's day -Yes noise..! There are some political parties in India which say that it is an "un Indian thing" to celebrate Valentine's day ! (Next they will be saying " No love please - we are Indians" - but then that is something else.. will have to write about it some time) All the young people today suddenly seem to awaken on Feb 14th and declare their love! I am curious to know what they would do with all these gifts when the relationship breaks ? And these days the breaks I understand are quite often.

It is really ironic that all this celebration and exchanging of gifts are not really helping people bond better and deeper.  I wonder- who is getting the best out of this day? The people in love or all those companies who are cashing in on this emotion  called love?

 

9 comments:

Ibhade {NG} said...

Ha! my thoughts exactly!
Indians don't fall in love?..:)
It's simply just over-rated for profits!

I couldn't believe my ears when HALLOWEEN DAY was introduced in Nigeria by some people.

meerasrajan said...

Ibade... you will be shocked when you hear what these clowns who proclaim themselves to be the moral police of India do on Valentine's day... !And this in a country that brought out the oldest treatise on love - " The Kamasutra"!! And yes, I see this Halloween business also catching on in India.. The many ways that business houses think of making money...

Rachna said...

Good post! True love is not about commercialization. You hit the nail on the head when you said that does all this actually help people to bond better? And, then it is to be seen that who is taken for a ride in that case? I also feel that being there for each other is the best way to show one's love. Actions always speak louder than words. But, those who want to celebrate, let them.

anindita said...

I loved the paragaraph written about your parents and also the fixing of the kitchen sink is really sweet.
As coiuples grow, love also grow. I myself have seen so many changes (for the better) in 10 yrs of marriage.
Love has diferent colours throughout the life...

Deepa said...

What love are we talking about anyway? These companies are targeting the teens - coz I certainly don't get excited thinking about chocolates and candyfloss (diamonds are another matter altogether!). The models in these ads seem to be becoming younger by the day. There is one ad by Macdonald's where the boy and girl look like they are in 8th or 9th std. Its all humbug. As you say, a thoughtful gesture is more filled with love than any box of chocolates.

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

I agree with your reflection. Hopefully many people will enjoy the celebration due to their sincere love, and not because of consumerism.

Nonetheless, Happy Valentine's Day! :-))

Doris

Bikramjit said...

YEah when i was grwoing up never heard of this and now suddenly its all over and all these clebrations .. Someone somewhere surely made a lot of money from all this :)

Na it doesnot help people to bond.. rather it gives false hope.. now next year again this will be expected and if it does not hearts break .. and moreover all this love lasts for a few days amongst the teens these days ...

Bikram's

justjoxy said...

I agree with you that Valentine's day has been hijacked by commerce. I bet there are even cards for humans to give their pet dogs or cats. People seem to believe that love can only be validated by material things like cards, flowers, chocolate etc. without knowing that these things are merely the icing on the cake, not the cake itself. I wish I had shares in a card company. Sigh.

kumari said...

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