Columns / Discourse / February 15, 2012

World Politics Corner: Love around the world

I thought it would be nice to take a break from the chaos that seems to permeate our world and look at the good things since it’s the week of Valentine’s Day. So here is a short compilation of various love-related stories from around the world:

Bangladesh:

Ghotok Paki Bhai, a match-maker in Bangladesh, has proudly stated that he has created over 1,000 successful matches for people looking to get married. By keeping a record of anything you need to know about someone (including height, parent’s education and complexion, which is culturally important) he creates matches. What is the secret to successful relationships, he says? Friendship.

Catalonia (Spain):

The Catalonia region of Spain will celebrate their own Valentine’s Day (called El Dia De La Rosa) on April 23. Traditionally men would give women roses. In the 1920s, women started giving men books. “A Rose for Love, and a Book Forever,” according to Wikipedia. Nowadays, both sides can receive a book. In 1995, UNESCO declared April 23 as World Book and Copyright Day.

South Korea:

Single on Valentine’s Day? You’re not alone. In South Korea, singles get together to eat black noodles called Jajangmyeon while discussing their single lives. In South Korea, there are also two Valentine’s Days. One is Feb. 14, where women give men chocolate. The second is March 14, where men give women non-chocolate candy. I guess that means more noodles too.

South Africa:

While couples celebrate Valentine’s Day in their own special ways, in South Africa there’s another tradition. Young girls can pin their lovers’ names to their sleeves.

Scotland:

Everyone gets to party on Valentine’s Day in Scotland. Traditionally, singles get together in a party; women pull names out of a hat, and spend the rest of the party with that person exchanging gifts. While you may leave with a new friend, you might leave with someone special. Fate, maybe?

United States of America:

Valentine’s Day is often noted as the time for romance, but there are other stories of love throughout the calendar year. It was called the “Kiss Heard ‘Round the World” by the media, Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta won a raffle to share a kiss with her partner Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell. While it was a symbolic victory for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” it was also a moment for two people who love each other very much, celebrating that love.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.

Rana Tahir
Rana Tahir is a political columnist for The Knox Student, primarily covering international issues. She will graduate in June 2013 with degrees in political science and creative writing, after which she will attend the University of Denver's publishing institute.


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