Valentine day is about love as any other occasions and celebrations its theme cannot be contested and denied. Of course the matters concerning its origin, culture and the role market plays in the propagation of valentine day’s message is something of concern in place like Nepal whose borders were shut off to any foreign interaction till 60 years ago. Yet the present case is stupendously different we cannot survive without the outside world indeed all our government every year declares the need of their participation in our economy and all almost everything. The prime example would be the present government efforts to resurge the national heritage site the birth place of Buddha Lumbini in the global religious and cultural sphere in cooperation with the global world powers. Thus at present the presence of global forces whether it’s political or cultural needs much more of explanatory exercises than just mere criticisms and denigration.
But how could a person define love the act is doomed to be a failure. May be it’s a cause among many that has weakened the criticisms over its celebration and limited them to the sphere of gossips. And with the rise of female participation in every place of societies the attraction and seduction between sexes is highest of all time. Thus love is in the air. Unfortunately we don’t have any our own occasion in to celebrate it and sanction their stirrings and desires. The vacant space has been occupied by Valentine’s Day like every other adapted concept or mechanism like democracy, communism, human rights etc. In our secular Nepal’s religious societies it provides some kind of sanction to our blossoming youths to declare their love.
All this in the name of love but there are many other things besides love inside the notion of valentine day that dwells mostly in our cities. Many claims that its arrival began in Nepal with the arrival of satellite channels in mid 1990s. Sums it nothing more than a part of mass cultures that sprang from the west after 1950’s mainly with rise of television. One can perceive passivity in the acts of most of valentine day celebrators buying cards and gifts from daddy-mommy moneys and trying to win their mate’s love. Thus the Critics sledges it as commoditization of love and due to the absence of our own urban- local means and mediums for substitution the global market further exacerbated this problem.
But gifts and material presents were always the part of any occasions and celebrations. Just try to configure Dashain in your mind without its new clothes and feasting culture. Festivities without material gifts and consumption is almost unthinkable in any culture the problem is we hardly produce any of our own. Plus Nepal is still a poorest of the world hardly producing anything both cultural and material but feeding itself on almost everything that comes from outside. Now there are so much in us and in our surrounding almost beyond of limit of digestion and acceptance.
In every Tole of kathamndu there is a DVD shop selling everything of Bollywood and Holllywood in mere Rs 30, hundreds of satellite channels are roaming our skies and will do home delivery in few hundred bucks per month. Now with arrival of spring and summer clothes from china will blossom our dusty streets with price tag from Rs 100 to 10000 and above. What can anybody do in this scenario when everything of our lives is daily in risk of being governed by rules and products of globalization? Can the notion of love differentiate itself from our body and surrounding and survive the impact of globalization.
Nobody writes about it in their explication and condemnation of Valentine’s Day. And I think it’s very hard for anybody to define or give a treatise on love. The best path to be followed would be to allow the people to tell their tales of love. Love will find the way and will pave its own if we do give the space to young lovers to express their stirrings and feelings. The need is of participating it with our democracy and republic. Only then our becoming citizens could communicate with society and do not have to hide and take refuge in letters of greeting cards, other gifts and flowers. And the state where its citizens cannot express their love to their desired partners cannot blossom with democracy.