I'm an aspiring writer, but overall, I am an American who seeks a better America.
Okay. I've decided to give politics a rest for a while, and I posted this article here of mine about a celebration with which we are all familiar. I want to elaborate on Saint Valentine's Day and what it means to different people here in the United States and abroad. Now, I'm not going to lecture anyone about whether or not they should be in a relationship with a significant other. Whatever anyone chooses to do with their life is their own business, and everyone should make their own decisions about whom they love or whether they want to be in love at all.
As far as I'm concerned, there should be no deadline on when someone has their first girlfriend or boyfriend or when they get married. What works for one person may not work for another. It's kind of like the lyrics in the song below.
The Song Titled "To Each His Own" By Faith, Hope And Charity
Saint Valentine's Day sparks a whole myriad of emotions as it approaches. Married couples and sweethearts see it as a day to celebrate their love together and commemorate all the years that they've been together. Single people see it as a day that their co-workers ask them a whole host of intrusive questions about their love life, which may even be non-existent. For incels and perma-virgins, it is a day that differentiates between the haves and have-nots of American society.
Whatever Saint Valentine's Day may mean to you, to Christians, it is a day to honor one or two martyrs who were ultimately referred to as Saint Valentine. Some Christians have denounced it as a pagan celebration, because it has to do with tragic events that occurred many years ago and should, therefore, not be commercialized in the manner that it is here in our nation or anywhere in the world.
If you are happily married or at least in a successful relationship, then I wish you and your significant others all the best of years together. Most of us, if not all of us, have been in love at one time or another in our life. Not all of us may have experienced love in the way that we would like to do so. Nonetheless, whenever one falls in love, it can be as though the lyrics of the song below begin to play in their head.
The Song Titled "Think About You" By Luther Vandross.
When I was a teenage boy in high school, I used to listen to my shortwave radio quite often. Once when I was listening to an international English broadcast of Radio Portugal from Lisbon, Portugal, one of the things that I found interesting about it was that the radio announcer on it stated that the Portuguese did not make a big deal out of New Year's Eve or New Year's Day. That is, they didn't celebrate it as heavily as Americans and people from other nations did.
I also remember hearing so many years ago that Cuba did not celebrate Christmas, because Fidel Castro-Ruz had turned Cuba into a purely communist nation that forbade religious celebrations. As an American living in my homeland, it did not surprise me in the least that other nations did not celebrate Thanksgiving Day with the exception of Canada, of course, and the Canadians celebrated it on a different day of the year than Americans do.
It may come to us as no surprise that different nations are going to have different celebrations and different holidays or they may celebrate the same celebrations and holidays in a different way from how Americans do so. However, I had no idea until a few years ago that Saudi Arabia had never celebrated Saint Valentine's Day up to that point in time. As a matter of fact, that nation did not lift their ban against celebrating that day until very recently.
1. February 14th Used To Be Just Another Day Of The Year In Saudi Arabia
Before recently, you could walk the streets of Saudi Arabia on Saint Valentine's Day and not come across even one store or shop that was selling flowers, chocolates and teddy bears for men to give to their wives or girlfriends. You could go into a convenience store and not find even one Saint Valentine's Day card anywhere in the place. Television channels were devoid of any specials or any kind of programs that celebrated Saint Valentine's Day. You couldn't even catch an advertisement that promoted Saint Valentine's Day on television or in any magazine publication anywhere in that nation back then.
The Islamic monarchy in Saudi Arabia used to ban that celebration throughout their nation and had strictly prohibited any commercial business related to it. In fact, Saudi Arabia used to be one of the seven nations that didn't celebrate Saint Valentine's Day. Five nations are described in this regard in the video below, including Saudi Arabia.
Five Countries That Either Didn't Used To Or Still Don't Celebrate Saint Valentine's Day
It is interesting that Iranian government officials and Indian government officials view Saint Valentine's Day as a decadent Western custom. Malaysia is an Islamic nation that appears to be one of the most popular destinations for American tourists, and there is a very strong anti-Saint-Valentine's-Day sentiment among its citizens. Could it be that these countries are concerned about all the loneliness and isolation that single people feel on that day and they don't want the same problems that our nation and other nations that celebrate it have? Who can really say?
2. Saudi Arabians Do Not Have The Same Mating Rituals That Americans Do
Now, don't get me wrong. I am wholeheartedly against forced marriage, and I would never want anything like that to be legalized here in the United States of America. Forced marriages often lead to disaster, usually for the bride. At the same time, it is no mystery to me why the majority of Saudi Arabian Muslims have held on to the tradition of arranged marriages in their nation. At the end of the day, there is an upside and a downside to arranged marriages.
The upside to arranged marriages in a given culture like that of Saudi Arabia is that such a nation will never suffer from an overpopulation of incels and perma-virgins in the form of angry, lonely men who hang out on certain websites to fret and stew about how the world of beautiful women have treated them so unfairly since the time that they first hit puberty. The downside to arranged marriages is that even the most decent women can find themselves trapped in a marriage with someone whom they don't love and who may not treat them right.
In a nation like Saudi Arabia where many boys and men have never had to set forth the extra effort to find themselves a girlfriend in their entire life, it is understandable why that nation would not have had any real reason to celebrate Saint Valentine's Day for many years. Most male Saudi Arabians have never had to worry about experiencing the butterflies in their stomach, figuratively speaking, that most American boys and men feel whenever they develop an interest in a particular girl at their school or a woman at a social event.
These male Saudi Arabians get to skip over all the headaches that falling in love and asking a girl or a woman out on a date involves, because everything is pre-arranged for them. All they have to do is let their parents know that they're interested in a particular girl or woman, and their parents contact the parents of that girl or woman to set up a courtship and eventually arrange a marriage between the two. They don't have to worry about mustering up enough courage to walk up to that girl or woman and ask her out on a date. They don't have to confront possible rejection and even humiliation from that girl or woman.
I am well aware that Saint Valentine's Day is not purely an American celebration but rather an international celebration, especially in pre-dominantly Catholic nations; but my argument is that if most male Saudi Arabians don't have to experience the same excitements, fears, accomplishments and disappointments in pursuing love and marriage that boys and men do in the Western world, it makes perfect sense to me that they would not really have any purpose to celebrate Saint Valentine's Day. They live in a completely different culture than ours. I know that I'm going to get some backlash from some of the Muslim members of this writing platform in my comments section below for posting this article here of mine, but that is my opinion on why Saudi Arabia had no genuine need to celebrate Saint Valentine's Day for years.
When I was living in Los Angeles, California, one of my co-workers was from Iran, which is a predominantly Islamic nation. He was significantly older than me. One time he began grilling me on whether or not I had a girlfriend. Because he and I were from different cultures, I somehow did not feel comfortable discussing such a topic with him inasmuch as I figured that he could never understand all the difficulties that an American man or an American boy goes through to meet the love of his life. I was not being bigoted, but it was merely how I felt at the time. Perhaps I was jumping the gun back then, but I barely knew this man and talking with him about such personal matters already seemed awkward enough for me. Moreover, I have never been an exhibitionist about my personal life, especially at my place of employment.
Shortly after that same incident out in Los Angeles, I was watching a television program late at night on Channel 4 during the weekend. The name of the television program was Night Talk with Dr. David Viscott, and people would call into the television program to get advice from the late Dr. David Viscott for personal problems that they were experiencing.
One of the people who called into the television show to speak with the late Dr. Viscott was an Iranian teenage boy who claimed that he had fallen in love with a 17-year-old girl at a Muslim festivity he and this girl both attended. The girl was also obviously Iranian. He told the late Dr. Viscott that this girl had smiled at him, and he was optimistic that she was in love with him. The late Dr. Viscott told this young man that just because this girl had smiled at him, it did not mean that she was in love with him. He advised the young man to ask his parents to speak with the young girl's parents to fix them both up.
The late Dr. Viscott was as American as baseball, apple pie, and Chevrolet, but he was also educated in the customary practices of different cultures. He was a man of many talents in his role as a psychotherapist, and he was taken away from this world way too soon. May he rest in peace.
3. My Conclusion To This Topic
Saint Valentine's Day means a host of different things to a host of different people here in our nation and throughout the world. Most of us would agree that the amount of business that what few tourist places are left in the Poconos get increases dramatically at this time of year. It started off as a Christian celebration, and eventually it evolved into a commercial event each year. Nevertheless, there are currently at least 6 nations that ban it. Saudi Arabia used to be the seventh nation that did so.
You may be one of those people who look forward to Saint Valentine's Day. Then again, you may be someone who wishes that Saint Valentine's Day was either treated solely as a Christian celebration rather than as a lovey-dovey day of the year or removed from the calendar altogether. However, it will never cease to amaze you how different cultures treat this one day of the year insofar as there are nations that do not allow it at all. How the Saudi Arabians are ultimately going to handle this unique celebration after so many years remains to be seen.
No matter what your situation is, it always feels good to get a Saint Valentine's Day card from someone; even if you may not be married or in a relationship. Anyone can send anybody a Saint Valentine's Day card. You don't have to be a Don Juan or a Casanova to make the best of this same day. Of course, this year not all that many people will be going out to celebrate Saint Valentine's Day because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In any event, wherever you may be in the world as you are reading this article here of mine, I would like to wish you and your loved ones a Happy Saint Valentine's Day come February 14th.
A Poll For Americans Who Want To Speak Their Minds About Saint Valentine's Day
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Jason B Truth
Jason B Truth (author) from United States of America on August 21, 2021:
Ladies and gentlemen? Maybe Saint Valentine's Day should be changed from February 14th to February 29th so that it only gets celebrated every FOUR YEARS! LOL! We all have our own opinions about these traditional days of the year. I'd like to read yours here in the comments section.