Thursday, February 14, 2013


It's 14 February.
When a friend was about to leave the office today, he greeted me, "Happy Valentine's". "To you too," I respond.
In the train, there are so many people holding a bouquet of flowers. A daddy, holding his small daughter's hand, with flowers on his other hand. It must be for the mommy, I think.
Reaching home, Farhan showed me a card that he made. He and his brother were at home today. Their teachers are on strike, if not they will make Valentine's cards for the parents too.
The teachers were on 'Stop work action', claiming for better pay, relatively lower than others' at other states. This was the third time they stopped work pending the negotiation, since last year. What would happen if our teachers did that, back home, I always think.
Back to Farhan's card - written 'LOVE' on it. He carefully cut a red paper for the letters. He sticked the letters LOVE on a blue paper with blue glitters on it.
'That's so beautiful', I said.
'To whom you  want to give that?'
'To my teacher', Farhan said.
'That is so kind of you.' He is amazing. And his teacher must be so amazing that her pupil likes her very much.
Thinking back home - the society looks hostile towards this celebration every time February comes. Facebook walls are filled with fierce reminder that it is not our culture, it is prohibited. It comes from the tradition of someone else's religion. Some pledge to eradicate it altogether.
But seeing their way on this day, for them, it means so much more. And it's simply love. Love to parents, teachers, friends and others.
But what makes us so hostile?


Lina Fung Hashim said...

Salam Iza. OK lah, I'll be a more active reader from now on. :)

I think ppl tend to get hostile because the failed to look at the bigger picture. Here, Valentine's day means the expression of love towards ppl dear to us: parents, teachers, siblings, spouse, partners, gf, bf and many others. From where we come from, when it comes to Valentine's day which is not part of our religion nor culture, it is viewed as something suspicious and oftentimes, suspicion is dealt in the absence of information. Mulalah keluar hukum macam-macam. And it is not helpful when our youngsters selectively dedicate their "love" on this day to their gf/bf.

Can you imagine bila budak-budak dah balik sana and they are excited to prepare something special on February 14th, only to be informed that it is not appropriate to do so?

Arif and Iza said...

Salam Lina

Thank you for your comment. This blog is much more like a monolog - getting less attention, how to feed an active reader then ;-)

Somehow it's fun (and useful) to have active coversation.

People may be naturally hostile against foreign influence - the need to keep our own identity against the pressure of different dominant culture.

But I think the way we approach it is disrespectful to others, people like to blame others than to build their own strength. People like to say so many things, here and there, that what others do are not proper. Do you notice that they even reject their own culture & tradition that do not fit their own thinking? It appears to me that nothing is correct for these groups.

I am also worried about the reverse culture shock and how to deal with it.