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Valentine’s Day or Boshonto Utshab..?

Spring, otherwise known as the 'season of love', is here. What makes it even more exciting is that Valentine's Day and Boshonto Utshob dovetail in the month of February.

The comparison stops there. While Boshonto Utshab is an integral part of our culture and heritage, Valentine's Day is a concept imported from the West, resulting in what can only be termed a cultural collision. 

Consequently there are both positive and negative viewpoints about February 14. This phenomenon is especially true for our noted media personalities. 

The Daily Star talked to some of the media veterans about the debate surrounding Valentine's Day.

Ferdous Waheed says, "If I go back in time, there are a lot of memories. But now, at this age, all those memories may sound like crazy stories. At the age of 25 to 35, there is a lot of enthusiasm for such a day, but now all that keenness is gone."

In sharp contrast, Abul Hayat who recently celebrated his 40th wedding anniversary, stopped by on his way home to pick up 40 roses for his lovely wife... "I do not believe that love needs a particular day. I love my wife everyday."

What does Aly Zaker have to say about it? "Love is one of the greatest feelings, it's not only for a day but for all the 365 days. I do not think that it should be for 'fun' as is wrongly portrayed. That's not love. 

There is a western mindset working; our values are somewhat dominated and controlled by them. You can say that the days like Father's Day, Children's Day and Lovers' Day (Valentine's Day) are just a mechanism to boost sales in the market. But that shouldn't be the case. I can't imagine loving my life-partner only one day of the year; my love for her is eternal."

What do the young stars have to say about this?

Actress/model Probha says, “I used to feel strongly about Valentine's Day, say when I was doing my HSC in 2006. The uncanny thing is that at that time, there was mostly a strike on this particular day. So in that way, although I wanted to, I could never really have that much fun. 

However, just the day before, on Pohela Falgun, I had loads of fun. I have this strong feeling that this year is going to be horrible! With no friends to hang out with and maybe I will be busy shooting the entire day.”

Singer Nancy says, "I do not think it's a part of our culture; may be enthusiastic teenagers observe it in a big way. 

However, they don't celebrate love. Girls don make-up and fancy clothes and young men go out to stare at them -- this is not true love. 

For me everyday is for love and other emotions." On this occasion when everyone is considering where to go and spend some special moments with their loved ones, all is not well for some celebrities.

Actress Farah Ruma says, "Although I celebrate every year, this year, my father is unwell and is in hospital. I just hope for the prayers of my fans on this Valentine's Day for my father whom I love the most.”

And then we have rock star, Ayub Bachchu, taking a pro-Valentine's Day stand. "Valentine's Days is for lovers. They observe this day to cherish their loved ones." Bachchu and his band LRB will be performing in Kolkata today, sharing some special moments with his fans in the West Bengal city.

Dancer Shamim Ara Nipa says, "It feels good to have a celebration, but it should be treated differently to express love. However, through a celebration, people can find a new way to express themselves. Love is omnipotent."

In the words of RJ Kebria, "Love is for all times. It's in the form of many feelings and emotions. Even spending a troublesome time with your favourite person can be described as a moment of love." And what about spring and Boshonto Utshob? Almost everyone is excited; there is no debate on this score.

Ayub Bachchu: "Boshonto is not just a season, its a state of mind. Nature wears a new face, and people put on new clothes and embellishments. It's the magic of spring that prevails in nature and in the hearts of Bangladeshis.

Dancer Tamanna Rahman points out that Boshonto Utshab is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in Bengal. Tamanna is unequivocal about the irrelevance of Valentine's Day for her. As she asserts, "Like many others of my generation, I had no exposure to this celebration in my childhood and teens.

Though this generation celebrates the day in a big way, I somehow cannot relate it to our culture.”

Source: Daily Star


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