Valentine’s Day does not originate in Cambodia, but how is it here?
It is actually a western culture, but then is adopted almost around the world. It is not until the last several years that Valentine’s Day has become very popular among Cambodian adolescents.
However, how much do they really understand about the day? And in what ways are they practicing it? As a matter, I think there are many controversies about this new norm due to its effects.
For many years, I have noticed that Khmer youths are very actively participating on 14th February. Then I try to figure out by asking some young people about their understanding.
Many of them answer it is a day when couples express their love to each other. It is not completely right to me though! And what they would actually do is dating, giving flowers or even commit love with their partners.
Some people will spend a lot of money for their lover, and some do not go to school but guesthouse. I think this is a concern.
“I’m ready for the upcoming Valentine’s day.” It is not surprise at nowadays if you hear it from Khmer teenagers as young as 13 year old. It reflects something new about modern couples in this changing society.
There are a lot of Khmer adults who are actually waiting for the day although they do not understand what it really is. I think whenever they still misinterpret this event, it is highly possible that they will misbehave. We can see that there are a number of youths who have already committed bad things.
However, I think these activities are not all completely wrong. The problem is with their lacks of balanced practices. They are mostly young and still students, so it is hard for them to have enough responsibility. Those young just unconsciously accept this foreign culture without much thinking.
When I start to think further about the Valentine’s Day, I wonder how it comes so quickly to my society. Then I begin to select several calendars to check what’s going on 14th February. Not surprisingly, I can find easily that it is a Valentine’s Day in all calendars. I think media is also a factor to bring in this culture.
For instance, there are more love events or promotions during the day. Moreover, you will find flowers are on sales all over the places from shops to schools when the day comes.
I think these will increase more chances for teens.
Some people think that the celebration encourages teenagers to behave against own culture, and I also feel the same when they still continue this way.
If there are no any interventions, it will bring more negatives to individual, family, and society. They might risk of being cheated by their partner, and it will ruin their family reputation. I’m afraid it will also harm Khmer culture for the whole society.
My final thoughts about this event, it is not wrong to adopt Valentine’s Day but need to be properly controlled and balanced.
There are some points for us to be aware of such as family should try to teach their children about the day. School should educate the students.
And media needs to make sure that they are not encouraging teens to actively involve in Valentine’s Day.