When I think of Valentine’s Day I think of summer dresses, light meals, summer hair, summer tans and clinking champagne glasses on The Rocks at the end of Oceanview Drive while watching the sun setting over the Atlantic Ocean.
Today, I woke up and it was snowing. It has been snowing most of today. I would say with the wind surging every now and then, its bordering on blizzard conditions. Its days like these that help me to realise that I really am on the other side of the world to home.
That said, there is something wonderful about Valentine’s Day in the snow. Something magical, beautiful and special.
So, how do the Finns celebrate Valentine’s Day?
Well, first of all they call it “Friendship Day”. How sweet. I don’t see as many movies or songs coming out of this interpretation of the concept as there are with the Hollywood version, but yes, a nice idea. A nice day to celebrate being friends without all the hooha drama of do-they-like-me/should-i-invite-them-for-dinner/can-i-even-say-happy-valentines/will-they-get-the-wrong-idea/will-they-get-the-right-idea etc etc. but obviously, if you like someone, like any other day, you should just bust a move and do something about it (especially if you are boy – cough, cough, nudge, nudge, yes, I’m talking to you… in the words of Hitch, from the movie Hitch, “No woman does not want to swept off her feet” #justsaying)
While there aren’t any Valentine’s Day decorations up in the university, there do seem to be a lot of baked goods in the cafeterias that are pink or heart-shaped or pink and heart-shaped. A side note here: There is a specific baked good for most Finnish special days, so having Valentine’s Day baked goods makes sense. I think when I get home I will continue this great tradition… specific baked goods for specific days, especially Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and of course Sundays.
Another cool thing was that there was free chocolate at the cashiers of the university cafeteria today. Maybe Finnish people take one or two. But I’m from Africa and that is not how we handle business. I took a handful and got my Australian friend (who doesn’t eat chocolate) to take a handful too. I spread them around my lunch tray and I felt like I was swimming in pieces of chocolate. Well, not really, more like my plate was swimming in chocolate.
Remember, we don’t only show love for friends, lovers and others only on Valentine’s Day but it’s still nice to do something for someone or a couple of people anyways.
Here are some Valentine’s Day themed photos I took today.