ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Popularity of 'Valentine Day'

A Sociological Perspective

Coinciding with the emergence of a liberalised economy since the 1980s, Valentine's Day has become a popular festival in India among urban youth, provoking hostile reactions from some. Instead of passing moral judgment over this festival, it needs to be objectively assessed within larger changes taking place in traditional Indian social life, more particularly the shaky arranged-marriage system.

Evidently, the celebration of the St Valentine’s Day (popularly known as Valentine Day) has almost become a predictable routine in India; cards and gifts are exchanged and the entire atmosphere becomes radiant with red colour, love, romance and festivities. However, it is a different matter that most young persons who participate in this gaiety may not be aware of the history and various connotations of this Western festival.1 Nevertheless, the loud celebration of Valentine Day among the urban Indian youth, stubbornly defying antagonism of the opponents, requires an explanation. It cannot just be dismissed as an undesirable effect of market economy and capitalistic culture of the West or moral corruption caused by westernisation and globalisation. It is rather symptomatic of changing youth culture all over the world. However, particularly in India, apart from this kind of universalistic trend, it is also indicative of the wide-ranging changes taking place in traditional Indian social life, reflected by growing individualism among youngsters and the shaky arranged marriage system of India.

Not Only in India

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