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Ugandans’ version of Valentine

Life & Style

Ugandans’ version of Valentine

Ugandans are the most romantic people I have ever seen. They start the next year’s Valentine day preparations on the 15th February of the year before. Actually they don’t wait for 14th February; every day is a valentine day and this brings the total of valentine days in a year to 365.  They are very serious!

All media houses are busy offering lots of practical advice about Valentine’s Day celebrations. So everyone knows what to do on this day.

According to the condom company Durex, a popular treatment for venereal diseases such as syphilis, was introduced to the world on February 14, 1929?  Don’t joke with statistics

Valentine cards and flowers are the most selling items shortly before 14th February. One billion valentines are sent each year worldwide, making it the second largest card-sending holiday of the year behind Christmas. Imagine Valentine’s Day is competing favorably with Christ’s birth day.  Out of the total sales, women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines. Over 50 percent of all Valentine’s Day cards are purchased in the six days prior to the holiday.

During those good old days I once received a valentine card that romantically stated:  “Each time I see you, hold you, think of you, here’s what I do … I fall deeply, madly, happily in love with you. Happy Valentine’s Day.” When my other girl friend found it my drawer she shed tears in her left eye.  While some people jubilate on this day others have their hearts broken.

In Japan, women are expected to give chocolate and other gifts to men on Valentine’s Day. This tradition was started as a marketing campaign by Japanese chocolate companies. Men are not off the hook, unfortunately. They are expected to return the favor on March 14th, commonly known as White Day. This might be different in UG. Here land titles and car logbooks are donated. Is this love or madness?

I disagreed with statistics when I read that teachers receive the most valentines, followed by kids, mothers, wives and sweethearts. Teachers just can’t take the lead; at least not in Uganda where these chaps have just miserably returned from a failed strike over salary increment. Ugandans women understand car keys more than flowers. In German saying “I love you” to someone is more important than giving them gifts. “I love you” in German is “Ich liebe dich.” Go and say that to your loved one if you don’t have gifts for them.

Happy Valentines Day



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