13 February 2013

Rwanda: Valentine's Day Should Mean More Than Just Flowers


Going by the fervour and hype that accompany Valentine's Day, the commercial windfall that business people garner, as well as the overall mood, one wonders why the day is not a universal holiday.

The day that symbolises love among lovers has slowly but surely crept into the social calendars of even some of the most remote communities.

While some Christian denominations respect the day and even have a feast day in Honour of Saint Valentine, hard-line Islamic governments have abolished its celebration and symbols - including the famous red heart and cupid with a bow and arrow.

If the love that is celebrated is to have more meaning and gain support in all cultures, it should be spread to all mankind and all facets of life. It should symbolise universal love.

With the world today straddled by civil and religious strife, Valentine's Day would be an auspicious occasion to reflect on how best to promote love for one another, banish hatred, xenophobia, tribalism and many other vices that kindle conflicts.

That would be a better excuse than dishing out money to buy chocolates and flowers to express love.

There is no better way to express it than showing it through universal unity and love.

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