These Indian women make their distaste for Valentine’s Day perfectly clear. Source: ArtNaz
With its overabundance of candy, chocolates, teddy bears and pink everything, it’s easy for people–single or in a relationship–to get pretty cynical about Valentine’s Day and the commodification of intimacy and affection.
But to some, Valentine’s Day brings out more than pure cynicism. Behind the hearts and flowers stands the West, intent on imposing its culture around the world and in whatever way possible.
For example, right-wing religious groups in India view Valentine’s Day as a Western holiday that directly opposes the Hindu way of life. Muslims, too, can find the holiday off-putting, immoral and an encroachment of Western values. Believe it or not, this difference in opinion makes for some pretty intense Valentine’s Day protests.
In Pakistan, Valentine’s Day is a hotly debated topic. Source: NaijaGists
Pakistani Islamists have protested Valentine’s Day for years, saying that the Western holiday spreads immodesty around the world. Source: Codewit World News
Muslim women gather at an anti-Valentine’s Day Campaign. Source: Quartz
A Japanese group called Kakuhido (roughly translated to mean the Revolutionary Alliance of Men that Women Find Unattractive) has promised to protest against Valentine’s Day and the “oppressive chocolate capitalists.” In this picture from 2012, a member wears a shirt that says, “Sex is Pointless.” Source: Telegraph
Women gather together in Turkey to protest Valentine’s Day. Source: ArtNaz
These Hindu women feel that Valentine’s Day is a cultural invasion on their way of life. Source: PopSugar
Members of Shri Ram Sena (SRS), a group known for their protection of Hindu Dharma, burn an effigy of young lovers to protest Valentine’s Day. Source: Enarada
A same-sex couple sits connected at the neck by two bicycle locks. The women are protesting for same-sex marriage licenses in New Mexico. Source: Albuquerque Journal
Last year, a clash between two student groups from Peshawar University turned ugly. Activists from Islami Jamiat Tulba (IJT) got into a heated argument with members of the Pakhtun Students Federation (PSF), who were celebrating Valentine’s Day. When police showed up to handle the fighting, students opened fire on them, and then set the place on fire. Source: The Nation
To combat Valentine’s day, a group of Pakistani youth created Haya Day, the day of modesty. Haya Day conveniently falls on February 14th. Source: Jihad Watch
Right-wing Hindu activists destroy Valentine’s Day-related products to preserve the Hindu way of life. Source: CARI
On Valentine’s Day in 2013, Canadians gathered in Victoria Square to protest against sexual violence. Source: Montreal Gazette