Photo: reutersOfficials in the Kyrgyzstan city of Osh are insisting on imposing a ban on celebration of St. Valentine’s Day not only in local schools, but in the whole country, azh.kz reports.
“This holiday has never been celebrated in Kyrgyzstan’s history,” the city’s education department head Kushtarbek Kimsanov was quoted as saying by the 24.kg news agency. “The holiday of love is a bad influence on children’s morality.”
Kimsanov did not elaborate on how romance-themed festivities could corrupt children, but said he had ordered Osh school principals to make sure no Valentine’s card mailboxes appeared in their hallways.
Osh is not alone in deciding that the traditional exchange of flowers, candy and affectionate messages on February 14 is unacceptable.
Several high schools in the US state of Florida have this year joined Malaysia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia in imposing bans on celebrating the Day of Love.
The Russian region of Belgorod banned Valentine’s Day festivities in schools and government buildings in 2011, saying the holiday promoted promiscuity.
St. Valentine's Day is observed on February 14. St. Valentine's Day began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. Several martyrdom stories were invented for the various Valentines that belonged to February 14, and added to later martyrologies. A popular saints' lives of Saint Valentine of Rome states that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry.