My first encounter with Valentine’s Day came with the US TV-series and movies.
At the beginning of the nineties, television was the window opened towards the world, particularly focused on the West. The place most Romanians believed all the good in the world lies and absolute freedom is. I was mesmerized. I felt I could be a part of this fantastic new world. I was seeing people’s houses, the way they dressed, spoke and behaved. And new celebrations came my way: Halloween and Valentine’s Day. I couldn’t understand why people disguised (though I taught it was funny), nor why so many hearts were all over the place and why cards were exchanged.
My country caught up. Slowly, sensing the commercial opportunities, the shops adapted. From one year to another the Valentine’s Day became more and more present. Now it is expected and celebrated in all its glory.
Lots of voices still contest this day. Their arguments: is not authentic; it’s another way of making more money and supporting unjustified consumerism; it’s the expression of kitsch, and many people are left out. If you are the single, pathetic one, you are doomed to hiding, until all the hearts are gone and all the sugar is consumed.
As a representative of the first free generation of my country (I started school in 1990, immediately after Romanian Revolution) and feeling the burden of finding true Romanian identity and having to guide by example, for years I was against all the joyful displays linked to Valentine’s Day.
It took time to change the way of looking at Valentine’s Day. It is a celebration of love. Nothing wrong with this. I do not encourage the over commercialised aspect of it, but I am not against it anymore.
Being a celebration of love, it is a reminder for showing kindness and affection towards each other, towards our family, friends and above all, towards ourselves. Self-love is rarely mentioned on this day, but the standard of all the other relationships in our lives will be dictated by the degree of the self-love.
Let us celebrate love in all its forms. All that we do in this life can be accomplished only in the presence of love. The way we see the world, the way we act, react, understand, and communicate will reflect and resonate with our hearts.
Love is what connects us beyond words. It is the language of the heart and the only language every living creature understands. Let us feel, speak, hear and live in the name of love. Where love is, all flourishes. What love touches, it is forever transformed.
May all our days be blessed with love.
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