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Shot through the heart: Iran is nixing traditional Valentine’s gifts.
Elspeth Lodge January 24, 2011 – 3:20 pm
Government officials in Iran are less-than-tickled that their young are taking an interest in Valentine’s Day, viewing the new found observation of a holiday named after a Christian saint as a severe threat to traditional cultural practices.
“The authorities in Iran resist Western influence and blame many of Iran’s social ills on a ‘cultural assault’ from the West. Although the population is predominantly Muslim, many people, particularly the younger generation born after the revolution, have liberal attitudes and follow the same trends in music, film and fashion as people of their age would do in Europe,” reports euronews.
Iran’s printing works owners’ union says that the country has it own days to honour kindness, love and affection, reports Reuters.
While the holiday has not been officially banned, traditional Valentine’s gifts can no longer be sold in stores, including themed cards, red roses, teddy bears, candies and anything that comes in a heart-shaped box.
The printers’ union has taken legal action to ensure Valentine’s products are not created and therefore the holiday not promoted:
“Printing and producing any products related to Valentine’s Day, including posters, brochures, advertising cards, boxes with the symbols of hearts, half-hearts, red roses and any activities promoting this day are banned, said authorities, who threaten they will take “legal” action against those who ignore the ban,” reports Reuters.
According to Reuters, some nationalists have proposed filling the Valentine’s Day gap with “Mehregan,” a Iranian festival in existence since the pre-Islamic era (Mehr means ‘friendship,’ ‘affection’ or ‘love.’)