By Lovsha Thayalanathan, Mississauga
Generation Next asked several people to tell us how they celebrate Valentine’s Day, where you go to celebrate, what gifts you give, do you care for interracial dating and if your parents do something for Valentine’s Day.
Romantic Gateway in NYC and alone time for my partner, Prashan Loganathan
”Spending quality time with a significant other by either taking them out to a nice restaurant or creating a special dinner. Alone time is key; I try to keep myself free from outside distractions.”
“Spots that I would take my date would have to be between the theatres, preferably for a romantic comedy, skating and hot drinks down at Harbourfront Dowtown, dinner and show at a fine restaurant at the heart of Toronto, or a romantic gateway in New York City.”
“Gifts that I would give my Valentine would be diamond jewellery, chocolates in a heart-shaped box, a bouquet of red roses, a thoughtful letter, or lingerie haha (pun intended).”
”I would not mind going out with someone outside my ethnicity, as long as they connect and share mutual feelings.”
“Occasionally they do by getting each other small gifts such as a bottle of wine, but since they both are quite busy, it is not always celebrated.”
Dad gets something for mom but acts as if it’s no big deal – Sai Ruban Ramakrishnan
“I call my mom and tell her I love her, every year. I ask her out on a date, but she refuses to come out with me. Besides that, I usually just call my friends and hang out with them.”
“One of the best places to take a girl on Valentine’s Day has to be the London Eye. Having her by your side and overseeing the city below, the night sky and struggling traffic has a feeling of its own and makes you appreciate her that much more.”
“For starters, I would get her a box of chocolates and roses, but I wouldn’t stop there. I would get her something she would want, but isn’t dying for, because that I would save to give on her birthday.”
“I have no problem going out with someone who is non-desi, but it would be totally different. For instance, I like my brown music, which she wouldn’t even understand. I like to eat my rice and curry with extra hot chillis, but she would probably fall sick over it. I’ll be at home talking to my family in my language and she would be like ‘huh’? It just wouldn’t work out the way I would want it too, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t give it a try and that it won’t happen. It’s just not my preference.”
“My parents don’t celebrate Valentines Day. They grew up in an environment that was strictly controlled by culture and tradition. Girls were very protected, so my parents find it hard to walk out of that circle and into today’s society. But, my dad always buys my mom something for Valentines Day, but tries to act as if it’s just a normal thing.”
A nice dinner and romantic comedy for my Valentine – Ahmad Mansoor
“Nothing in particular, varies year to year, but usually a nice dinner.”
“Definitely an upper class restaurant downtown, Toronto or a casual date to the movies for a romantic/romantic comedy flick. Something the ladies will love, always got to please them.”
“It would really depend on what type of girl she is. If I knew her really well, I would get her something that I feel fits her personality and something she would like. But, if I were unsure I would settle for the typical red roses, chocolates and jewellery. You can’t go wrong.”
“Race is not a factor for me. If I like the girl then I will ask her out, no hesitation. There should be no discrimination when it comes to something so pure and divine. Love has no race.”
“I come from a very cultured family and my parents haven’t stepped out from the comfort zone they have been brought up in. But, occasionally my dad will get my mom something nice.”
If I feel connection, that’s my Valentine – Sahil Dhillon
“I would celebrate Valentine’s Day usually with my girlfriend to someone I care about and treat them on a special day to show them how much they mean to me.”
“I think for a casual outing, a nice restaurant would be fine.”
“It would really depend on the person, but I would go with jewellery and a box of chocolates.”
“It wouldn’t matter to me whatsoever, as long as I feel a connection with her I would go for it.”
“My parents do celebrate Valentine’s Day, usually they go out for dinner, watch a movie. They just like to spend some quality time together.
Relationships swell when the culture is same – Rayhan Khan
“On most occasions I wouldn’t necessarily celebrate Valentine’s Day. I usually just buy flowers or chocolates for the ladies in my family, including: Mom, or sister, just to spread the seasonable cheer in my household. If I did have a girlfriend/companion in my life, I would take her out for a romantic dinner, probably over-looking downtown Toronto, in the CN Tower, alongside a nice gift.”
“Popular spots to visit on Valentine’s Day would be, Niagara Falls for sightseeing and check out their art/firework galleria they have down there throughout the winter season. Or Harbourfront, Downtown for skating, possibly hitting up the nice places that are on sort-a-say the romantic side like going to the CN Tower.”
“For females I know Necklaces/Bracelets or any kind of jewellery are nice alongside a bouquet of flowers are always nice. Not so much the box of chocolates since they are a bit over-played. And for males, I would say the same thing, any type of Jewellery.
“Well with all the pretty girls coming from every ethnicity in the whole entire world, relationship and partnership wise I would want to stick it out with a girl of my own culture/ethnicity which would be either Pakistani or of an Arab decent. I feel when cultures are closely tied, relationships/partnerships are more understanding and go swell.”
“I can’t call on it, I don’t know if it’s actually celebrating. If my parents remember the day, which is a maybe through every year they will put a small plan together for going out and possibly seeing a movie and having a dinner ‘date’.”
I hear girls don’t give boys presents – Priyanka Chowdhury
“I like to celebrate Valentine’s Day by doing something calm, serene and of course romantic. I never used to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but it is definitely a great excuse to express your emotions to that special someone. I’m not much of an emotional person myself, but celebrating Valentine’s Day is a great way to show how much you care – especially since you’re making the effort to take part in a celebration that doesn’t exactly fit your emotional comfortability.”
“Restaurants like Baton Rouge and CN Tower’s 360 Restaurant are some great places to visit for Valentine’s Day. Although you are paying a hefty price for the dinner, you are paying for exquisite food and a nice, sophisticated and classy atmosphere.
“For females, perfume, jewellery, roses, and chocolates accompanied by a thoughtful card can always do the trick. Normally, I hear girls don’t give boys presents, but I would definitely buy the male something – maybe a nice shirt, cologne, or sunglasses – whatever his taste entails.
“I personally don’t discriminate. Every race is equal in my eyes. However, I have never actually dated a desi myself – not that I have anything against them. But ideally, a desi boy would probably be the most satisfying choice to the parental unit. Haha.”
“While my parents are divorced, my mother takes Valentine’s Day as an occasion to express love to any loved one: her mother, daughter, brother, or sister – it doesn’t matter who. So every Valentine’s day she comes up to me and says ‘Happy Valentine’s Day Priyanka!’ Sometimes, she’ll even take me out to dinner. And I must admit, it’s the cutest thing in the world!”
I expect unexpected on Valentine’s Day – Mayura Nanthakumar
“Ideally, I would like to spend the day with my Valentine and have unexpected surprises throughout the day. Having sudden surprises always makes the day that much more exciting!”
“I’m a sucker for long moonlight walks, anything along those lines is good enough for me.”
“It would really depend on what my partner liked. If he likes materialistic items, then I would get him that or if he likes his collectibles I would get him something related to that.”
”I don’t discriminate, but my preference would be to date someone who is of my kind. It’s easier to date someone who understands your culture and can cope with it.”
”My parents aren’t into Valentine’s Day, however occasionally they go out and get each other gifts.”
Stuffed animal is nice – Sai Thavendran
“Annually, On Valentine’s Day, my girl and I go out and spend an entire day together. Our day starts off with a homemade breakfast, then we go out somewhere (varies every year) and spend time together, grab dinner and we end the day with a sleepover.”
“I’d have to pick between a restaurant, or spend an evening at each other’s houses for some quality time, and parks are always nice if the weather permits, of course!”
“I personally love chocolates, so for females I would say chocolate, lots and lots of it. A home made card is always thoughtful and nice for a quick read. Or even a stuffed animal that she really likes, you can’t go wrong on that one. For males, I would have to say cologne, clothes, chocolates and, or card.”
“I’ve never really thought about dating someone outside my race, so I would have to say no.”
“They appreciate each other’s love by buying each other something small and maybe an evening dinner together.”
Not many options on Valentine’s Day if you’re single – Sasha Ramcharan
“This question can definitely go both ways. While I am in a relationship, my Valentine’s Day usually consists of the guy doing most of the work. In the past, some sort of gift exchange followed by a somewhat fancy dinner is usually the norm. I don’t think it is a day to do anything crazy, but simply just to be with the person you love. On the other hand, celebrating Valentine’s Day while single usually consists of sitting at home, watching TV and trying not to think about how single you are!!! It is pretty depressing, but there not many options for a single person on Valentine’s Day.”
“Hot spots on Valentine’s Day usually depends on the couple. I definitely think restaurants are the most popular places for couples to be, considering you have to make reservations at least a week in advance. If you go somewhere different, it usually means there is a sentimental value and it has more significance than a restaurant. Beyond that, hotels seem to be popular as well. They serve as a place of privacy and you do not have to worry about cleaning up or everyday distractions taking away from the alone time with one another.”
“Cologne and watches are good presents for men, whereas perfume, jewellery, flowers, chocolates and candy seem to be very popular for women. Homemade presents such as scrapbooks or cards with a poem on the inside can also serve the same purpose with a more romantic feel.”
“Personally, I would not want to date a non-desi. I like being with someone who is on the same page as me culturally. Do not get me wrong, a lot of my friends are not desi and we get along just fine, but when it comes to dating, connecting with that person means connecting with them on many levels. Being raised the same way as someone, in my eyes, makes it easier to date them as you are both on the same page.”
“Yes, my parents do celebrate Valentine’s Day and I think it is really cute! They celebrate it the same way people my age do, but they have the added bonus of being married and having a day away from my siblings and myself. I am happy to see the romance is still alive and I hope I have the same relationship with someone I care about in the future.”
Valentine Day is not about couples only, family is part of it – Brintha B
“I share it with our loved ones. I think every day should be considered Valentine’s Day by spending time with the ones you love. However, I am a big sucker for cheesy holidays! So depending on my status, I’d either spend it with my family/friends or my boyfriend by going out to dinner, or watching a really cheesy movie or doing anything really, as long as I’m with my loved ones. I don’t think Valentine’s Day is JUST about couples. I think anyone can celebrate it. The point is to be around the ones you love.”
“Fancy restaurants, movies, picnics, trip out of town (planned ahead) etc are of the norm. Personally I would want to go back to the very first place I met my date or where we first had a date. It’s different for everyone.”
“For males, I think chocolates, jewellery, candy, personalized wine or a card should be fine. For females, chocolates, roses, candy, teddy bears, jewellery or a card should do the trick.”
“Haha, I think it might be fun to kind of see what people of other cultures are like. I wouldn’t be totally against it, I wouldn’t mind at all.”
“No not really, it’s just like an everyday thing for them, rather than just on a holiday.”
It’s just like any other day – Kumar Pandya
It’s just like any other days for me, at midnight, I wish my girlfriend a happy Valentine ’s Day. On the day of occasion we usually go out somewhere for lunch/dinner and movie and often surprise each other with presents.
What are popular spots to visit on Valentine’s Day?
Lakeshore is one of the places I look forward to. It’s a really good romantic place, but in cold, I go to Eaton Centre or a restaurant in Downtown.
The best gift to please my girlfriend is a bunch of flowers and also some chocolates. With that they also expect some expensive gifts as well such as coach bags, sunglasses, etc.
No, I wouldn’t prefer a non-Hindu girl to go out with. I just wouldn’t feel the same attachment in terms of communication and understanding.
My parents don’t do anything on Valentine’s Day. They aren’t as liberal, especially my dad.