Following on from Phil’s post regarding the true meaning of Valentine’s Day, Sick Chirpse can bring you news of a lovesick Russian city that has gone so far as to ban the day itself!
Belgorod, in southwestern Russia, has stated that it will not organise any Valentine’s Day celebrations on the ground that it could threaten the ‘spiritual safety’ of its citizens. The university has banned concerts and discos, whilst the zoo has even cancelled a planned discount for couples.
Grigory Bolotnov, from the department for relations with social and religious bodies (a real department) explains more behind the mentality for the decision, explaining that it has no roots in Russian traditions and that it promotes amorousness rather than love – ‘It’s designed to swell the emotions and you know what kind of teenage liaisons happen then.’ Quite!
Bolotnov added that many simply see the day as an excuse to get trashed: ‘We could have just as well have introduced a Vodka Day. Marking this sort of holiday means that tomorrow we could end up creating other celebrations, such as a National Beer Day or a Day of Marijuana.’
Considering pretty much EVERY day in Russia is a Vodka Day, I personally find the stance rather perplexing. I guess if you were planning on taking your girlfriend to Belgorod this weekend, cancel the trip pretty quickly!