Muhammad Umair Butt
February 14th is a date that comes around once every year. It’s special to some and not so much to others.
Shafiq Murji & Elysha Daya
Everyone has an opinion about Valentine’s Day and how they feel towards the day. Do guys and girls have different views about this day? The only way to find that out is to ask people. So, I decided to ask a few people;
1) What is your opinion of Valentine’s Day?
2) What do you like to do on Valentine’s Day?
3) Do you have any expectations? If so, what are they?
4) Do you date within your own religion or other religions?
5) Do you feel like Valentine’s Day is superficial?
Let’s start with what the girls had to say.
NAHID HEMANI says;
1) On Valentine’s Day, I enjoy spending it with good company. Whether that means my significant other, my best friend, or my sister, but I prefer to spend time with that special someone to let them know exactly how much I appreciate them.
2) On Valentine’s Day I like to receive gifts. It makes me feel special like my birthday.
3) If I feel that that person has a good heart, a warm personality and above all respects me, then I feel that religion should not be the reason for us not to be together.
4) Yes I tend to feel that Valentine’s Day is superficial, however it helps fuel the economy a lot. Flower stores and Hallmark make lucrative amounts of money.
JENNIFER VAZ says;
It’s great that there is a day for everyone to express their love towards their near and dear ones; however, I feel that it’s overrated at times, and yes, superficial as if you do love someone, you should be expressing that love for them every day. Not just once a year. I personally do not expect anything extravagant as it’s pretty clear to those who know me that this is yet another day. Every day should feel like Valentine’s Day if you’re with that special someone.
RABIA KARA says;
1) To me Valentine’s Day is a made up holiday. I don’t think that love should be celebrated on one day of the year full of expectations; it should be celebrated when you want to, as much as you want to. I think in some cases it takes away from “real” romance in a relationship. I don’t hate it, I enjoy it sometimes, but it’s not the most important day of the year either.
2) It depends where I am, if I have someone special in my life. I don’t live in the same city as my partner, so I probably will celebrate it on a different day, nothing planned.
3) I don’t expect anything
4) Usually my own religion but I haven’t restricted myself to that.
5) It can depend on how it’s celebrated and who you are as a person. The holiday itself with all the decorations, chocolates, candy etc, it can be made very genuine, but it can also just be a day you spend more money like most holidays.
SHWETA NAIR says;
1) I prefer keeping it simple. A good movie or a candle light dinner at home fits perfectly for me.
2) I like art and I know a lot of work goes behind it. So on this occasion I would love my partner to make something for me rather than purchase anything. Nothing triumphs handmade presents.
3) I personally haven’t been on a look out but if I were, religion would be last on my list.
4) Yes, I definitely think Valentine’s Day is superficial. Firstly, true love can be expressed all day, every day. It does not need to be validated by shallow gifts. Secondly, every company seeks ways to exploit customers all in the name of “Valentine’s Day” and last but not the least the timing could not be worse. You’ve over spent for Christmas and New Year and you’re starring at the calendar because February 14th is around the corner.
PRIYANKA CHANDRAGUPTHAN says;
1) Valentine’s Day is a day to re-kindle and to remind that person as to why they chose you. It’s very hard now-a-days to get a little alone time because of the stresses of work and etc.
2) There really isn’t anything specific I do for Valentine’s Day. I usually just spend it with the people I love.
3) As cheesy as this may sound, I only expect to spend Valentine’s Day with the people I love. Even if that’s not possible, I always make it work with people around me. I’m always in for a surprise.
4) Valentine’s Day isn’t superficial. Though media takes advantage of this and uses it to promote and advertise their merchandise, there is a history behind Valentine’s Day. The history is the reason why we celebrate it.
Well, what did the boys have to say? Let’s see, shall we?
NEIL LADVA says;
Valentine’s Day is a day to cherish every moment you had with the one you love and have the most feelings for. I like to hang out with the one that's special to me. Or take a girl out that I may like. I don't expect much, if I was in a relationship it may be a good time to bust the 3 words if it's the right time in the relationship.
Yes I do date girls that are different religions than me. I'm not big on religion so none of it really matters to me.
Valentine's Day was created to show affection to the person you love but it's only superficial to those that don't care about it.
AKBAR KARA says;
1) I think Valentine’s Day should be celebrated, but sometimes it is overdone.
2) On Valentine’s Day I would like to spend a night in with a special girl.
3) I expect the girl to appreciate whatever is planned.
4) To me religion doesn’t matter
5) I think Valentine’s Day is sometimes a little superficial.
DAANISH DHANSI says;
1) I do not mind VDAY but I wouldn’t just restrict myself to that specific day to show my emotions/expressions towards my girlfriend, I try to show it throughout the year.
2) Go for a nice dinner then come back home and watch a movie together.
3) I don’t expect much just because it’s V-day, but yes I do expect the same feelings that I would get throughout the year from my girlfriend.
4) I prefer my own dating someone of my own religion, but If I connect with someone outside then I would not mind dating her.
5) VDAY is not superficial but again I just do not like people who go all out to show their feelings on this one day.
CHRIS BHARAT says;
There are two ways at looking at Valentine’s Day, first way is it's a special day to celebrate the love and affection you have for your significant other, to show them how much you value them and how much they mean to you. Second way of looking at Valentine’s Day is that over the recent years it has become more "commercial" like every other holiday, however why just set one day aside when you can show your loved one small daily tokens and affections of how much you care and love them in different ways, shapes and forms, the little things add up to the big picture.
I personally like to be in a good company and have a good time regardless if I have someone special or not in my life. If I'm single and its Valentine’s Day then I will spread the love and affection to my family and close friends as well as upon the odd stranger, You Only Live Once so might as well make the best of it.
Religion is not a factor; it’s who the person is and how your chemistry is with them. Why limit your personal happiness and love by excluding certain religions! The one soul mate may either be of the same religion as you or completely different. It’s who you are that makes the difference.
JUNAID ALAM says;
1) Valentine’s Day is more of a single awareness day. It’s one thing when two single people bond together on Valentine’s Day or become closer. Otherwise for the most part, holidays like these make a person more anxious to be with someone or in other words; make them wait for the ‘right one.’
2) I do not celebrate Valentine’s Day. If I did have a girlfriend or someone I loved, I wouldn’t wait till Valentine’s Day to express my love. Everyday should be similar to Valentine’s Day in a relationship.
3) I do not expect much from myself on this heavily over rated holiday. As for others; it benefits them in one way to approach someone they really admired. Then again, why wait on THIS day to tell that special someone about how you love them?
4) I haven’t had much experience with dating but judging by my past, there has been no girl from my religion or even culture. Things may change very soon but yeah, brace yourself!
5) For decades the Valentine’s Day trend has been going on, so all people will do is be more ‘romantic’? The usual flowers and chocolate, candle light dinners. Rest ashore, I do NOT mean everyone, but those that know they do this.
MUHAMMAD UMAIR BUTT says;
Valentine’s Day is an awesome day to “express” our love to our other half. But to be honest it is all bogus. One day symbolizing what you feel for another person is dumb. V-day is just symbolic for consumption and mass spending.
I do not expect much other than that lots of false lies are made to each other because those who truly are in love do not need one day to remind themselves.
I am not racist or anything…but I prefer my own culture and religion to avoid the drama and conflict. And my preference is that too.
Yes it is very superficial. This is just my opinion.
It seems like everyone has mixed thoughts/feelings on Valentine’s Day. While speaking to all these individuals, I also had a chance to talk to a one couple about their view on Valentine’s Day. I wanted to see whether they both had similar views or different ones about this day. Here’s what they had to say.
ELYSHA DAYA says;
1) I think Valentine’s Day is an overrated holiday.
2) The same thing I would usually do for that day.
3) I expect everything to go as it normally would. I actually informed my boyfriend from our first valentine’s day that I do not celebrate it at all, so to not plan anything or turn it into a big deal.
4) I date within my own religion.
5) I think it is very superficial. It just puts pressure on males to impress their girlfriends, and every year go over and beyond what they did the year prior to. The people who aren’t in relationships feel excluded from this “holiday” and it is overall just unnecessary. Love isn’t determined once a year, it is something that should be celebrated everyday- and not with jewellery or flowers or chocolate, just by spending time together.
SHAFIQ MURJI says;
1) I think love should be celebrated every day.
2) I treat Valentine’s Day as if it is a regular day.
3) I do not expect anything.
4) I date within my own religion
5) I think it is very superficial. It is just a scam for people to spend money on gifts. Real gifts come through showing the person that you care, respect and would do anything for them. And those gifts should be given every day, not once a year.
From the answers above, both genders have similar views on Valentine’s Day. And luckily as a couple, Elysha and Shafiq have similar views as well.
And lastly what do I think? Well, I believe that Valentine’s Day should be every day. I think that people should express their love for one another daily. Whether it be to their mother, father, significant other, brother, sister, friends or anyone else, it should be expressed daily. There need not be just one day to do so. Having Valentine’s Day is like saying it’s the only day to express your love for someone and if you miss out on it you have to wait till the year after. On Valentine’s Day I like to treat the day as any other normal day. Yet I still do wish people Happy Valentine’s Day. I do not have any expectations for this day, but if someone does ask me to be their Valentine or does express their love for me more than usual on this day I do not mind. As for dating I do not have a preference on religion because you can’t help who you fall in love with. At times I do feel Valentine’s Day is superficial. The ways in which it is advertised on television, through advertisements, television shows and in stores makes it very superficial.
In all, everyone seems to have their own views and opinions on Valentine’s Day. But for those who do believe in celebrating Valentine’s Day, HAPPY VALENTINES DAY TO EVERYONE!!!
By Aabida Dhanji
Valentine’s Day and the Interracial Barriers
By: Gagan Batra
“I guess you could call my parents strict. They never let me go out with boys unless they knew really well who they were.”
“ … I just grew up thinking that it should be a huge day in my life where I go to a romantic place where my husband and I could be alone and just enjoy each other’s company.”
“…We do not do any big celebrations. We enjoy dinner together as we have for many years of our marriage.”
The excitement of the New Year has passed. January went by just as quickly as it came. Now that it is February, people are getting ready to rejoice and show appreciation for those who are important to them. First comes Valentine’s Day, and then Family Day follows. It is a time when people celebrate the important loved one’s in their lives and give thanks for having them around.
Love is in the air. You can feel it when you walk down the street. All the couples walking hand in hand, basking in each other’s company. It is evident that Valentine’s Day is on its way. Since as long as is remembered, we’ve been exposed to a certain glorified perception of what ensues on Valentine’s Day. It is expected that big, romantic gestures are to accompany the occasion. It is up to the person, though, how they decide to show their affection. Whether it is through an extravagant, well planned scheme, or through a modest plan, people’s interpretations of what constitutes a good date differ.
The coming of Valentine’s Day brings up an important topic: what are the similarities and differences in expectations associated with different couples. Interracial couples are an interesting group to focus on because a lot of the time, one partner may have been exposed to Valentine’s Day and its importance greatly than the other.
My notion was that individuals who were brought up in a more Western environment as opposed to their partners from Eastern environments would have differing opinions about Valentine’s Day. This idea was put to the test after interviewing three different couples about their thoughts on the occasion. At the respondents’ request, in order to conceal their identities, they will not be referred to throughout this article by their actual names.
Twenty one year old Nina comes from an Indian household. She has been brought up practicing the Hindu religion, as has the rest of her family. Although she was born in Canada, her parents retained their Indian heritage and held it to a high regard.
“I guess you could call my parents strict. They never let me go out with boys unless they knew really well who they were.”
Upon asking whether she has ever been in a romantic relationship she affirmed that she has been in two. The interesting and somewhat expected part of this is that she did not tell her family of either of her romantic relationships.
“My boyfriend right now comes from a Caucasian family. I’ve met and stayed with his parents on several occasions.”
Nina explained that she is unexcited for Valentine’s Day. “I’ve never made a big deal about it before, I don’t see why I’d start now just because I have a boyfriend.”
The interesting thing is that Nina and her significant other have very differing opinions about the upcoming occasion.
“Since I can remember, my dad’s been getting my mom flowers and chocolates for Valentine’s and they’ve always gone out and done something together for the day. I’ve never had anyone to share the day with so I want to make this year special.”
In the case of Nina and her significant other, there was a difference in upbringing. Nina was not exposed to Valentine’s Day at all while she was growing up, whereas her boyfriend has memories of it from a very young age. This could be what has led them to have formulated differing views about Valentine’s Day altogether.
In the case of forty two year old Pamela and her forty six year old husband, Raj, there have also been differing opinions about Valentine’s Day.
Pamela comes from a Scottish family and has been living in Canada for the past thirty seven years. Her husband, Raj, is from India and had come to Canada almost twenty five years ago. Although Pamela and Raj have been married for over twenty years, they still share opposing views about the meaning of Valentine’s Day.
Pamela explains that “Valentine’s Day has always been an important tradition in our house. My mum would tell me of all the wonderful things my father did for her and I just grew up thinking that it should be a huge day in my life where I go to a romantic place where my husband and I could be alone and just enjoy each other’s company.”
Upon asking what her usual Valentine’s Day has looked like since she has been married, Pamela retorted with, “They’ve been kind of quiet. It’s hard to maintain the same traditions as your own family, especially since my husband comes from such a different background. Especially with kids, it’s difficult for us to make time.”
Pamela explains that she no longer expects the huge, romantic gestures from her husband. “After a while, you get so comfortable with the person, that Valentine’s Day is just another day. I now know that he probably didn’t miss out on much given that he wasn’t exposed to Valentine’s until moving away from India.”
There was one interracial couple that I had spoken to where both members expressed their content at the upcoming occasion.
Ruth explained that she and her husband had just celebrated their fifty fifth wedding anniversary last week. Ruth was born and raised in England, whereas her husband is from Pakistan. Although both of them now live in Pakistan, Ruth explains that they are excited when the time for Valentine’s Day comes near.
After fifty five years of marriage, one would expect a couple to abandon some of their earlier traditions. However, Ruth explains that every year since their marriage, her husband has bought her flowers and cooked a subtle dinner for the two of them.
“He became more aware of what Valentine’s Day represented after a few years of marriage. Back then, Valentine’s Day was not celebrated in Pakistan. He used to think it was just about the expense of what he had planned. Then, he came to know that it is not about the money, it is about time together. We do not do any big celebrations. We enjoy dinner together as we have for many years of our marriage.”
It is evident from looking at these three couples that the importance given to Valentine’s Day is not necessarily dependent on gender, age or even fully on ethnicities. In the cases of Nina and Pamela, both of the individuals from eastern backgrounds were those who did not give as much importance to Valentine’s Day as their western partners. However, it seems as though a couple’s outlook on this romantic holiday is based on their own experiences and attitudes. In Ruth’s case, even though her husband is from Pakistan and they both reside there, they preserve and embrace their Valentine’s Day traditions.
Mixed Unions in Canada
South Asians Less likely to be involved in mixed unions – Stats Canada
Mixed unions, including both married and common-law couples, reflect one aspect of the diversity of families. They vary according to characteristics such as generational status of the spouses or partners, their birthplace and their particular visible minority group.
The census enumerated 289,400 mixed unions in 2006, up 33.1% from 2001 and more than five times the 6.0% increase for all couples.
Of the total number of mixed unions, about 247,600 couples were comprised of one person who belonged to a visible minority group and someone who was not a visible minority. These made up 3.3% of all couples in Canada. The remaining 41,800 mixed unions consisted of couples in which both members belonged to a different visible minority group. They accounted for 0.6% of all couples.
In terms of generational status, the proportion of mixed unions rises with the length of time spent in Canada. Among first generation visible minority Canadians (those born outside of Canada), 12% were in mixed union couples. For second generation Canadians who were members of a visible minority group the proportion in a mixed union was 51%. It reached 69% for third generation visible minority Canadians.
There was also variation across specific visible minority groups.
Compared with other couples, a slightly higher proportion of mixed unions included children living at home. In addition, about 10% of mixed union couples had at least one child under age two and none older than five years of age in the home, compared with 5.6% of other couples.
This reflects the fact that people in mixed unions were younger and, therefore, more likely to be at their life-cycle stage of having young children at home.
Mixed unions are an urban phenomenon. In 2006, 5.1% of all couples who lived in a census metropolitan area were in mixed unions, compared with 1.4% of couples who lived outside these areas. In Vancouver, 8.5% of couples were in mixed unions, the highest proportion among metropolitan areas.
Visible minorities of South Asian or Chinese origin were least likely to be involved in a mixed union, according to Statistics Canada. For instance, there were more than 327,000 South Asian couples in Canada in 2006, but only 12.7 per cent were in a union with a white person or someone of another visible minority group. Sociology experts say one major reason is that those communities are so large, and sometimes insular, that members are more likely to marry someone of the same ethnic background.
Fifty-one per cent of second-generation Canadians (the children of immigrants) who identified as visible minorities were in a mixed union, compared to 12 per cent of immigrants. The rate was even higher among third-generation visible minorities, of whom 69 per cent were in racially mixed relationships.
MIXED RACE MARRIAGES BY VISIBLE MINORITY GROUP
- Chinese: 56,000 or 9.5 %
- Black: 55,200 or 25.5 %
- South Asian: 41,500 or 6.8 %
- Latin American: 40,000 or 30.7 %
- Filipino: 35,600 or 19.8 %
- Arab/West Asian: 26,500 or 14.3 %
- Japanese: 22,200 or 59.7 %
- Southeast Asian: 18,100 or 18.4 %
- Korean: 6,800 or 10.8 %
- Multiple groups: 29,400 or 41.3 %
Source: Stats Canada