Our third country for our Asian week is India.

We know that India is characterised by its ancient traditions and culture, somehow opposite to the western world. Valentine’s Day, which is a western tradition, is a recent date that is celebrated in India. Some people like to celebrate it but some others are totally against it.

Those who celebrate it – mainly young people – do it in the usual way: exchanging cards and gifts such as flowers, chocolates, soft toys, etc. as well as going out to a restaurant, pub, and cinema, among others. Restaurants tend to be full that day and shopping centres in metropolitan cities offer discounts for this special date.

However, many people are against this celebration as it goes against India’s conservative background. They argue that this date promotes Western values, making young people follow a different culture, and is therefore a lack of respect towards Hindu culture and values. Those against argue that couples shouldn’t show their love openly, neither on this date nor any other, and if they do, they should get married.

They are afraid that this kind of celebration will lead to some issues like teenage pregnancy, loss of culture and lack of respect toward Hindu traditions and values. In order to avoid this celebration, a nationalist party, Hindu Mahasabha, has come up with the idea of replacing Valentine’s Day for ‘Parent’s Worship Day’, a day to celebrate love between parents and children.

Despite the opposition, Valentine’s Day is still celebrated across the country. But if the Hindu Mahasabha wins the fight, I guess there will be more weddings on this date!

Now let’s learn some words, expressions and endearments in Hindi (national language) for this special day:

  • Vailentains divas mubaarak ho (वैलेंटाइन्स दिवस मुबारक हो)  = Happy Valentine’s Day
  • Main tumase pyaar karata hoon (मैं तुमसे प्यार करता हूँ)         = I love you
  • Main tumhen pasand karata hoon (मैं तुम्हें पसंद करता हूं)      = I like you
  • Meri jaan (मेरी जान)                                                                      = My life