ON Valentine's Day, love birds from all over the world express their feelings to their special someone by giving them an array of gifts and messages of love and affection.
Feb. 15, 2022
3 min read
Mixed feelings over Valentine's Day
A couple celebrating Valentine's Day
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It falls on February 14 and is also known as St Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine. It is an annual festival meant to celebrate love, friendship and admiration.
The day turns the whole world red and Lesotho is no exception. Many people from different walks of life including school children, celebrate the day by among others, wearing white, black and red outfits.
Some couples go out on special dates for lunch, dinner, a movie or something they enjoy together.
Again, it is that time of the year when the markets get flooded by roses with most people looking for special ways to express their love to people who matter in their lives.
However, antipathy towards Valentine’s Day is also becoming widespread with some critics citing that the day can put untoward pressure on relationships.
“The thought of not getting expensive or meaningful enough gifts overpower the true essence of a relationship. This belittles and demeans the real meaning of love," protests Lenka Koliata of Maputsoe, in Leribe.
“Valentine’s Day can also be pretty hard on many single people. It is a constant reminder that one is alone and unattached and can make many get depressed. This is especially when movies that surround themes of love play all day long. There is no sense in making single people feel bad by broadcasting how other people are in love,” adds Boitumelo Senatla from Lithabaneng, in Berea.
Another person who strongly resents Valentine’s festivities is Lechesa Matseletsele also from Maputsoe.
"Why do we show our love for others specifically on February 14 and not every day? This could be because of the overall hype of the holiday, which include advertisements for jewelry stores and steakhouses, or social media 'memes' that allude to love being in the air.
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“This could also be a scheme by the chocolate industry as stated by Candy Industry.com. According to the website, the candy is a 22.2 billion dollar market in the United States of America and Valentine’s Day makes up 24% of sales.
“On another different level, other people argue that Valentine's Day is not only for lovers. A wise man once said – ‘who says Valentine’s is only for lovers? It is for all the people who love and make life more wonderful’, that is also my principle on Valentine’s Day,” Matseletsele also notes.
But all is not lost! There has been a notable effort to reclaim Valentine’s Day to bring attention to other subjects, such as unique female friendships and raising awareness for violence against women and girls (V-Day).
"These efforts are a great reminder that no one else should define your expectations or experience on this day or any other," explains 'Mamosele Lebeko of Ha Hoohlo, Maseru.
“In my view, society should take time out of its everyday activities to show appreciation for its loved ones. It does not take money or a holiday to show someone that you love them," she says.
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