BPP University is feeling the love this Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day in the UK usually means a time for couples to exchange gifts, arrange special dinners or take exciting trips to celebrate their love for one another.
But not every country or culture celebrates in the same way or on 14 February – the traditional day of romance.
In fact in Brazil, their ‘Dia dos Namorados’ (meaning ‘Lovers’ Day’) takes place in the summer, whereas the Welsh will have already celebrated the occasion last month – and even opting to give their loved ones a wooden ‘lovespoon’ rather than the usual sweets and gifts!
With so many differing traditions surrounding Saint Valentine and with BPP University having over 11,000 students from all over the world, we decided to ask some of our international cohorts for their cultural insights into what this heart-warming day means to them and how they celebrate it.
Nicole Thurston, who studied the BPTC at BPP University in Leeds, said: “Valentine’s Day is widely and hugely celebrated in The Bahamas. In fact, it is one of the biggest days for businesses to really capitalise on. You’ll see all of the business stores decorated in red and white and there are roadside vendors everywhere selling their goods for Valentine’s Day such as love token baskets with teddy bears, sweets and chocolates.
“I think Valentine’s Day is a wonderful time. For me, it’s a day to set aside to recognise all we love whether that’s parents, children, friends or partners. It’s as important a day to me as any other because it’s a chance to express my love to those I hold dear to me.”
Tulika Gupta, who is studying the Graduate Diploma in Law in our Waterloo base via BPP University Education Business Partner (India & Nepal), said: “India has a more commercial outlook towards Valentine’s Day on 14 February. It’s not something we celebrate like we would Holi or Diwali but there are many people who like to go out and exchange gifts etc. It is getting very popular with the younger generation.”
Fellow Indian student, Nikhil Dhaka, studying MSc Accounting and Finance, added: “For me, it’s like there is love in the air on Valentine’s Day. It means a lot to me if I have a partner and I could make her feel special. I used to go out with my partner and arrange a date such as candlelit dinner, road trip or poolside dinner.”
As part of BPP University feeling the love in February, our very own Enactus BPP University Society will be hosting their version of the hit ITV1 dating show ‘Take Me Out’ on 12 February at BPP University’s site in Waterloo, from 6.30pm. For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ve also picked our favourite Valentine’s Day celebrations in other countries:
The ‘Qixi’, or the Seventh Night of Festival, falls annually on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month (which will be 9 August in 2016) where people exchange gifts and make a special date for a romantic dinner or to watch a film together.
Celebrated on 25 January, a romantic tradition is to give a ‘lovespoon’ to signify when Welsh men displayed their affection by carving wooden spoons for the women they loved in the 17th century.
Valentine’s Day can often be celebrated monthly from February through to April with women giving gifts of chocolates, flowers and other romantic presents beginning on 14 February. Then, on 14 March, a holiday called ‘White Day’ means it’s the men’s turn to shower their loved ones with chocolate and flowers as well as another gift. And, if you’re single on either day, then it’s customary for people to eat dark bowls of black bean paste noodles on a rather sinisterly named ‘Black Day’ on 14 April.
Valentine’s Day means celebrating with their friends for Finnish people – with Ystavanpaiva (or ‘Friends Day’) the focus of the day.
Dia dos Namorados (‘Lovers Day’) takes place on 12 June – the day before St Anthony’s Day, St Anthony being known as the marriage saint, and is celebrated much like American or European Valentine’s Day traditions.
Celebrated on 14 February, tokens of love such as flowers and gifts are exchanged and it is customary for women to wear their hearts on their sleeves by pinning the names of their love interest on their shirtsleeves.