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“Celebrating Valentine's Day Is a Direct Way to Hell” in Tajikistan

Written by Mahina Shodizoda On 14 February 2014 @ 15:17 pm | 3 Comments

In Arts & Culture, Central Asia & Caucasus, Citizen Media, English, Religion, Russian, Tajik, Tajikistan, Youth

According to a recent survey [1] [tj], one out of three residents of Tajikistan are celebrating Valentine's Day today. Although these findings seem a little bit exaggerated for the country as a whole, they do appear to be accurate for the country's main cities. Over the last two decades, many young Tajikistanis have embraced the tradition of giving their loved ones cards, red roses, and other love-themed presents.

However, similarly to some other holidays such as Halloween or New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day struggles to gain broader acceptance in Tajikistan. During the week before February 14, social media users in the country argued about whether or not “the day of love [2]” should be celebrated.

Many Facebooka nd Odnoklassniki users in Tajikistan have shared this image today. The text reads: "Comprade! Don;t give in to the bourgeois crap! February 14 is an ordinary day!". The image comes from Russian-language social media.

Many Facebook and Odnoklassniki users in Tajikistan have shared this image today. The text reads: “Comprade! Don't give in to the bourgeois crap! February 14 is an ordinary day!”. The image originates in Russian-language social media.

Some netizens contend that the holiday has no place in a Muslim society. For instance, on blogiston.tj, Vatandust writes [3] [tj]:

Бародарону хоҳарони тоҷик. Нодониста намонед ки ҷашн гирифтани валентин роҳи рост ба ҷаҳаннам. Боре дар бораи кӯдакотон фикр кунед. Имруз шумо валентин ҷашн мегиред – фардо онҳо бо хайвонот алоқаи ҷинсӣ мегиран.

Tajik brothers and sisters, you should know that celebrating Valentine's Day is a direct way to hell. Think about your children. Today you celebrate Valentine's Day – and tomorrow they will have sex with animals.

Siyovush adds [4] [tj]:

Иди занону валентину ва гайра хамаш як сафсата каме нест!!! Чаро лубой иди гарбиву русиро чашн мегиред??? Идхои точики исломи дорем бас нест??? Агар форадатон брен ба Москва ё Амрико ва унчо чашн гирен чизе ки хохен. Диндорои точик бояд ба мардум фахмонан таърихи валентин чиву маънош чи. Хукумат бошад бояд фуруши валентинкахову хар як бозичахои дилдорро манъ кунад.

Women's Day, Valentine's Day – these are all nothing but nonsense!!! Why do you have to celebrate every western or Russian holiday??? We have Tajik and Islamic holidays. Aren't they enough? If you want, go to Moscow or [United States] and celebrate whatever you like there. Tajik religious leaders should explain the history and meaning of Valentine's Day to people. The government should ban the selling of love-themed cards and toys.

Under an article on ozodi.org, Muhammadi claims [5] [tj]:

Вокеъан, агар ҷавонони тоҷик ки будани Валентинро медонистанд, аз тачлили ин рӯз даст мекашиданд.

Indeed, if Tajik young people only knew who [Saint] Valentine was, they would not mark this day.

While Sham asks [5] [tj]:

Магар хамон кавми Валентину Иванову балову бадтар идхои моро чашн мегиранд, ки шумо ба онхо пайрави мекунед??? Боре дидаед,ки онхо иди рамазону курбон чашн гиранд???

Why do you imitate Valentine and Ivanov [common Russian surname] folks when they don't celebrate our holidays??? Have you ever seen them celebrating Idi Ramazon [Eid al-Fitr [6]] or Idi Qurbon [Eid al-Adha [7]]???

On Twitter, @onlytajikistan mentions some stereotypes associated with the holiday:

However, many people in Tajikistan do not see a problem in celebrating Valentine's Day. Khusrav sees [5] [tj] the holiday as part of a global culture:

Мо хохем ё нахохем дар ин дунёи глобали одату маданияти гарб ба расму одатхои мо таъсири худро мерасонанд. Хозир давраи озодии фикру рафтор шудааст ва на мулло ва на вазири фархангу маърифат пеши ин корхо шуда наметавонад.

Whether we want it or not, western culture and traditions have an impact on our cultural practices in this globalized world. We live in the time of freedom of thought and freedom of behavior, and neither mullahs nor Minister of Culture can prevent this.

Mila writes [10] [tj]:

Charo ki in ruzro jash nagirem? Kase oshiqu mashuq hast marhamat metawonand jakdigarro dar in ruzi oshiqon khursand namoyand, wa mekhostam dinro ba in mawzu omekhta nakuned!

Why shouldn't we celebrate this holiday? Those who are in love can make each other happy on this day. I would also like to [ask everyone] not to link this topic to religion.

Meanwhile, on blogiston.tj, netizens put together [11] [ru] lists of best romantic movies to watch on Valentine's Day and discuss [12] [ru] different ways of celebrating the day. Tomiris congratulates the readers of her blog, writing [13] [ru]:

Всех с этим замечательным праздником! Любите и будьте любимыми! Любовь делает этот мир прекраснее!

I would like to congratulate everyone on this wonderful day! Love and be loved! Love makes this world a better place!

Tajikistan is not the only country where debates about the appropriateness of celebrating Valentine's Day have occurred. Some countries have banned [14] the holiday. In the neighboring country of Uzbekistan, the authorities force [15] students to sign contracts affirming that they will not celebrate the holiday. In Kyrgyzstan, officials in the southern city of Osh have banned the celebration of the holiday in schools. A Kyrgyz MP has even called [16] [ru] Valentine's Day a “Devil's Holiday”.


Article printed from Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org

URL to article: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/02/14/celebrating-valentines-day-is-a-direct-way-to-hell-in-tajikistan/

URLs in this post:

[1] recent survey: http://www.ozodi.org/content/valentine-day-in-tajikistab/25260069.html

[2] the day of love: https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&ved=0CDEQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FValentine%27s_Day&ei=E-H8Ur2fMsXs2QWS2oB4&usg=AFQjCNE6Hkg5_Qoiq6oJEtCVpPqLvK8dCQ&sig2=0cH1wkduDjrKpwx7dQYgng&bvm=bv.61190604,d.b2I

[3] writes: http://blogiston.tj/index.php/blogi/den-svyatogo-val-kak-i-gde-vstrechaem#comment-2077

[4] adds: http://blogiston.tj/index.php/blogi/den-svyatogo-val-kak-i-gde-vstrechaem#comment-2088

[5] claims: http://www.ozodi.org/content/valentine-day-in-tajikistab/25260069.html?

[6] Eid al-Fitr: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eid_al-Fitr

[7] Eid al-Adha: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eid_al-Adha

[8] #Tajikistan: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Tajikistan&src=hash

[9] February 6, 2014: https://twitter.com/onlytajikistan/statuses/431454490076540928

[10] writes: http://www.ozodi.org/content/valentine-day-in-tajikistab/25260069.html?page=2#relatedInfoContainer

[11] put together: http://blogiston.tj/index.php/blogi/luchshie-romanticheskie-filmy-ko-dnyu-svyatogo-valentina

[12] discuss: http://blogiston.tj/index.php/blogi/den-svyatogo-val-kak-i-gde-vstrechaem

[13] writing: http://tomiristj.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/%D0%BB%D1%8E%D0%B1%D0%B8%D1%82%D0%B5-%D0%B8-%D0%B1%D1%83%D0%B4%D1%8C%D1%82%D0%B5-%D0%BB%D1%8E%D0%B1%D0%B8%D0%BC%D1%8B%D0%BC%D0%B8/

[14] banned: http://www.policymic.com/articles/81759/these-6-places-have-banned-valentine-s-day

[15] force: http://www.rferl.org/content/valentines-day-uzbekistan-discouraged/25262870.html

[16] called: http://www.ej.by/news/world/2014/02/13/v_kyrgyzstane_zapretili_den_svyatogo_valentina.html

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