Valentine’s Day and the Importance of Telling the Story of our Culture

Cindy bolted over to Han’s backpack and placed a sticker on one of its straps and then hurried back to her seat.

Do you know someone from another country, and have they ever shared something about their culture with you that you didn’t know? I’m sure there are things that you don’t know or at least would never have guessed, that are similar in both your culture and theirs. In the short story below, the scenario described here shares some examples of how Valentine’s day is celebrated in both the Thai and American cultures.

Take a look:

Cindy bolted over to Han’s backpack and placed a sticker on one of its straps and then hurried back to her seat. A few moments later, Han returned to his desk and immediately noticed the little pink heart sticker on his backpack. He sat down, and began to wonder to himself who might have given it to him, and if they had-
“Han”, the teacher said, “Can you come up to the front and write the answer on the chalkboard, please?” Right away, Han stood up and walked to the front of the classroom.

Seeing her opportunity, Cindy quickly reached into her backpack and pulled out a little box of heartbeat candies and placed it on Han’s desk. After Han had finished writing the answer on the chalkboard, he returned back to his seat and immediately noticed the little box of candy sitting on his desk. Straight away, he turned his head and began to look around to see if anyone was staring at him. Cindy tried her best to keep a straight face and pretend to listen to what her teacher was saying. Han sat down and directed his attention back to the lesson being taught. Cindy turned and gave a quick glance at Han, who was steadily focused on what the teacher was saying. Cindy then began to wonder to herself if Han had known that it was her that gave him the sticker and candy and if he knew that she-
“…Cindy?” The teacher said, sternly. Cindy snapped out of it and looked up at her teacher. “…Didn’t you hear me calling you?” The teacher asked. Cindy was speechless, and then she noticed that the whole classroom was staring at her. “Can you come up here and write the answer on the chalkboard, please?” Her teacher said.

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Cindy jumped to her feet and hurried to the front of the classroom. About 3 minutes later, she returned to her seat, but before sitting down, she looked down at her desk and stared for a moment. And staring up at her was a big chocolate heart with a little red bow and a little Valentine’s Day card with dozens of colorful hearts on it. Instantly, she looked up and began to look around to see if anyone was staring at her. Seeing that no one was, she sat down and opened the card, which read, ‘Happy Valentine’s Day Cindy’. She then flipped the card around to try to find a name, but it didn’t say who it was from.

Glancing over and seeing Cindy’s face lit up with joy, Han smiled-

Tell the Story of Your Culture

The importance of telling the story of our own culture and even how we celebrate holidays in our culture is what will keep the knowledge of it alive throughout history. Like for example, kids giving stickers and candy to someone they admire is something that’s still done today in both the Thai and American cultures. And for adults – Flowers, candy, and a Valentine’s Day dinner give the same impression. But unless a person from Thailand and someone from America share things like this about their cultures with one another, how will the knowledge of who we are and how we celebrate customs and holidays continue to be known throughout history?

Who knows if the internet will still be around in 20 years or if the transportation and travel system will still be the same 50 years from now. We can’t depend on things such as these to keep us informed about one another’s cultures. That’s why it’s so important to continue to spread the knowledge of our cultures through word of mouth with those who may not be so knowledgeable of it. Whether it’s something big or simple like the story above, it’s all significant in view of how our cultures will remain alive throughout history.

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So this Valentine’s Day, don’t just share some candy or a nice meal with your significant other or someone you admire – but also share something about your culture with someone who may not know much about it. Don’t just give someone flowers – give them a piece of your history.

Happy Valentine’s day from all of us at 1-StopAsia!