by Merissa Tan
How Do You Say “I Love You” Around the World?
February, the month when love is all around in the air! With Valentine’s Day coming in full force, February is when those in love show their appreciation for their partners. Everyone knows that the norm for this occasion is to give gifts to your crush/boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse, but do you know that the celebration of love actually varies around the world? In this article, we will explore how people worldwide declare their love!
Finland : Minä rakastan sinua
Ystävänpäivä is the Finnish name for St. Valentine’s day. It means “Friendship Day” in the Finnish Language, or “Day of the friends”. The 14th of February is not reserved for lovers and heart-shaped things in Finland, but rather a day where you do a “public declaration of friendship” of sorts. What you do is to give cards and small gifts to your friends, small things for everyone you care about, just to remind them of how much you value your friendship! The official flower for this occasion is a pink rose.
Japan : 愛してるよ(ai shite ru yo)
In Japan, Valentine’s Day is celebrated on two different dates, February 14 and March 14. On the first date, the female gives a gift to the male. Japanese females believe that store bought confectionery are not a sign of true love, so they tend to hand make their gifts. However, on the second date, the male has to return the gift he received on February 14. So technically, a Japanese female has the luxury of actually choosing her own gift. Lucky girls!
China : 我爱你 (wo ai ni)
For the Chinese, Valentine’s Day is celebrated on the 7th day in the 7th month of the lunar calendar. On the Chinese Valentine’s Day, people in love like to go to the temple of Matchmaker and pray for their love and possible marriage. Single people often go to the same temple to pray for luck in love. The day is also called The Double Seventh with a legend surrounding it, where a cowherd and a weaving maiden, a pair of lovers who were separated by divinity are allowed to reunite for a day and a night on this day.
Before I finish this article, I’d like to wish those with partners out there a wonderful Valentine’s Day with your loved one, and to those single ones like myself, the right one might just be around the corner! So put on a smile, you never know who’s falling in love with it 😉