The day of Valentine is one to show love. We’ve formulated a number of practices to express our feelings to each other on this day, romantic and otherwise. Valentine’s Day traditions exist not only in Jamaica but worldwide. However many of us who celebrate the day are beginning to falter in maintaining these traditions. There are some that have already begun to fade. We can identify some maintained traditions here and there; but that list can only last for so long. Here is a list of five Valentine’s Day traditions that will probably be obsolete in the next ten years:
Card-giving – on the North American ‘CountryLiving’ website, ‘home-made cards’ and ‘hand-written’ cards were already listed as erased from Valentine’s Day traditions. But we can take it a step further by pointing out that the practice of giving cards on a whole will soon be entirely in the past. Surprisingly, there are some of us young people who have some distaste for the new fashion of sending gifs and text in the place of cards. to 19-year-old Rachel, “a card shows you care more, gifs take no effort.” Unfortunately for people like Rachel, card-giving is fast becoming obsolete.
V-Day dinners - a worldwide Valentine’s Day tradition that many Jamaicans tend to practice is going to formal restaurants for an elegant dinner. According to a 2010 Valentine’s Day article published on the ‘Jamaicans Journal’ website though, equally as many Jamaicans are fed up by the extravagant spending that takes place on the romantic holiday. Approximately 8 years later, the same could be said. There are still a number of Jamaicans who swear that they would never spend a dollar towards Valentine’s Day, much less thousands on a ‘fancy dinner’. With the growing fast food culture, it is very possible that we might just cut out V-Day dinner outings all together and settle for ordering-in.
Valentine’s Day, ‘the woman’s day’ – as the Western world continues to take strides toward gender equality, there are nuances of global culture that are affected as a result. The gender neutralization of Valentine’s Day might be one such result. Instead of the typical scenario of mainly the woman being treated, we can prepare to witness men receiving equal traditional benefits from Valentine’s Day – even in Jamaica. According to a 2016 article on USA Today, in countries like South Korea and Japan, “it’s the guy who gets the love” on V-Day. Times are already changing. Adults and young people alike seem to be behind this particular trend. One young woman even said:
“Of course i’d take my partner out for Valentine’s Day. I’d even foot the bill. Even if it wasn’t V-Day though, it’s fine as long as he deserves it.” Daniel, 18 years old, shared that he wouldn’t mind equal treatment for men on Valentine’s Day saying, “yeah man, it should be a two-way thing.” 17 years old Rajini also shared that, “boys need love and candy too. I’m here for it.”
There you have it ladies, and gentlemen especially, we’re all here for saying bye-bye to the tradition of Valentine’s Day being ‘the woman’s day’.
Organic flowers – in Jamaica especially, we’ve all seen the vendors selling the plastic/cloth roses on our streets. We rarely witness the roses that have actually grown out of the earth being sold. As our concepts of Valentine’s Day evolve, this trend will probably continue until the tradition of gifting organic flowers on V-Day has all but disappeared.
Valentine’s Day with a partner – of course persons will always spend their Valentine’s Day with their significant others. However the notion that the holiday has to be spent with a partner or else one is pathetic is certainly fading worldwide. We see evidence of this is numerous movies and TV shows where being single is embraced. Soon the burden of being single on Valentine’s Day will probably just be a distant memory.
As long as Valentine’s Day continues to exist, we’ll see new traditions develop while others fade.