Today is February 14 and it is Valentine’s Day. Call it an ill effect of market driven economy or ongoing globalization, Valentine’s day has become an occasion of global celebrations. Even the cultures and communities that have otherwise no links to Valentine’s Day have also adopted it. Take for example, India: a country with glorious traditions, a leader in spirituality and sanatana dharma. has fallen to commercial forces of Valentine’s Day. Celebrating Valentine’s Day is considered a marker of modernity. However, majority of people do not even know about its origin and what exactly does it stand for.
Let us go into a bit of history and delve into origin and journey of Valentine’s Day. The article taken from National Public Radio (USA) tells us that in ancient Roman times, February 13 to 15 were observed as the feast of Lupercalia. It adds: “The men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain”.
Sometime along the way, Roman kings executed 2 men named valentine on February 14 on two different days of history. The Church however gave a religious tone to these executions, transforming them to Saints, hence the name St Valentine. Also, the Normans celebrated Galatin’s Day around the same time. Galatin literally means ‘lover of women’ and over time, it was likely confused with Valentine’s day.
With Hallmark company of USA starting printing cards for this day in 1913, the commercial onslaught began and the World has not been same since then. Today Valentine’s Day churns out a 18 Billion dollar business.
To read the whole article and educate yourself on the dark side of Valentin’s Day, go to NPR.
Parenting is a challenging part for most of an individual’s life
It is important to have an open dialogue with the children about social issues and stress
Discussing difficult topics help children understand the issue and face them more confidently
July 29, 2017: An article recently uploaded by Merck Manual answers parenting questions regarding the social issues that children see in daily life. Steven D. Blatt, Professor of Pediatrics at the State University of New York, answers the best ways to talk out problems with children.
Children entirely depend on their parent for survival and protection. And the parent sacrifices the entire life for the same. In the growing up process, it is important that children are also provided with love and care. At the same time, they must be toughened up and aware of the potential issues they will face in near future. Coping effectively with stress should be taught at the very beginning to the child.
Prof. Blatt highly recommends active social interaction. What is important is not just interactions inside the home but mostly outside. The externals may include relatives, friends, people at school, parks, religious centers, and other public interactions. Children tend to pick up stress coping ability by handling these interactions. Children also quite remarkably observe adults and observe how they handle stress.
Along the growing up process, internal conflicts that emerge and cause major disturbance to family structure and order has a deep influence on the child. Challenges such as illness or divorce challenge a child’s ability to cope and further destabilize emotions and social development. An illness, which is quite common, puts the child under distress and naturally impacts his performance in academics and extracurricular activities.
It is not just the child but his family that is stressed. Taking care of a child that is ill is a suffering like no other. Handling a child who has a serious behavioral problem is a major challenge. At this time, support should never be inadequate to the child. With family support comes a sense of security. Essential resources must at all times be employed into taking care of the child.
Life events such as divorce, illness, bullying and other social issues seem scary at a young age. Moreover, events that may not have a direct effect on children are also potentially worrying. Natural disasters, terrorist attacks, international wars, mass executions cause anxiety and fear among children. Subsequently, these fears impact the child for a long period.
Prof Blatt accepts that talking out difficult topics with young children is complicated and not the most chosen approach. However, he suggests open discussion. Open dialogue helps the children overcome their fears of talking about uncomfortable and unpleasant topics. These unnecessary fears which are constant at the back of the mind are thus eliminated as children talk transparently with their guardians.
A child should be able to comprehend that anxiety is a very common phenomenon. They must learn that anxiety is only natural and that it always lessens over time. Steven Blatt believes that regularly discussing such topics with children starting from an early range often results in children being automatically more open about such discussions as adolescents.
The professor further suggests how the discussion should take place. Complex and unpleasant topics should be discussed in a quiet surrounding. The place of conversation must be safe and comfortable. But most importantly, it should be that time of the day when the child is really interested in hearing what you have to say. With this interest, understanding drastically improves.
The parent has to remain calm, open, honest and straightforward. Moreover, all the attention of the parent’s mind should be on the topic at hand. Interestingly, nodding your head when appropriate and even using the phrase “I understand” boost the child’s confidence and encourages the child to confide deeper and further. Retrospective and reflecting on what the child thinks is a big bonus to the ever improving relationship of parent and offspring.
Asking how the child feels encourages a fruitful discussion. It also brings out more emotions on the part of the children. Through this, parents can extract the deeper emotions that the child may not be expressed openly. Offering reassurances and explaining the present situation is always beneficial for the child. Blatt says that parents often overestimate the power of reassurance and that is often the big mistake that is committed.
Another conversation that threatens the open dialogue is when a parent has to address difficult aspects of child’s behavior. For instance, the addiction to drugs or other substances. It may get difficult for the parent to choose a suitable approach. However, the professor suggests being direct is the most effective approach. In a single conversation, the parent’s love, care and at the same time concern must be reflected in their phrases. Then, it should be followed up with hope and support. Also important to keep in mind is allowing the child to speak and explain his thoughts.
Lastly, involving therapists and counselors at difficult times is beneficial to both the parties to the relationship.
– prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394
June 08, 2017: Fear is inevitable –it cannot be escaped but one can choose to overcome it by thinking positive thoughts. What draws us closer to anxieties in the gut is nothing but a state of mind. Some fear fire, while some fear dark and some fears are unspoken.
Here I bring forth some fears that everyone inclusive of me feels but wouldn’t admit. I am admitting my fears, Which one is yours?
Fear from Love
While some fear to love to avoid heartbreaks, others fear from love to avoid the payoff. Lack of trust withholds a relationship to flourish and stimulates fear.
2. Fear of Fame
Fame does not get ingested to everybody in the first encounter. Some feel paranoid and claustrophobic when success hits, which is why you see famous celebrities hitting depression.
3. Fear of Happiness
Happiness is attractive yet short lived. Some of us do not tend to enjoy the happy moments because we care for future more than the present. Wicked –Isn’t it?
4. Fear of Inner Evil
The fear of inner evil reflects the darker side of a person. It represents the wildness, chaos and the unknown. We fear what is not known, for the most certain things are always known.
5. Fear of Loss
Everything you lose can come back to you, but “life”, once lost can never be met again. It is indeed an irreplaceable loss.
– by Naina Mishra of Newsgram. Twitter: @Nainamishr94
Makassar (Indonesia), Feb 15, 2017: When the whole world was engrossed in painting the town red with love and romance, Indonesia made the best efforts to shun the love in its air.
Indonesian authorities barged in on convenience stores and seized condoms in Makassar, a major city in Indonesia, to stop teenagers having casual sex on Valentine’s Day.
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The mayor of Makassar, a conservative city on central Sulawesi island, led public order officers in the raids late Monday, on the eve of the celebration. Mayor Mohammad Ramdhan Pomanto clarified his stance stating that he was not against the sale of condoms, but the outlets needed to be more cautious about whom they were sold to, as reported by AFP
“Valentine’s Day is often misused by teenagers to have casual sex, this can destroy the morality of the nation,” Pomanto was quoted as saying in local media.
Iman Hud, head of the local public officers, similar to police but with fewer powers told AFP that convenience stores had been failing to verify teenagers’ IDs to check whether they were at least 18 years old, the age of consent, before selling them condoms.
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“We are doing this to prevent promiscuity,” he said, adding that hundreds of condoms were seized in the raids in the city of 1.3 million
In the world’s most populous Muslim preponderance nation, Islamic clerics and some devout Muslims mark this occasion as to denounce what they consider as Western sway which corrupts the youth to indulge into debauchery.
On Monday teenage pupils, including girls in headscarves, staged a protest outside a school in the city of Surabaya, chanting: “Say no to Valentine!”
Like every year, Valentine’s day celebration was banned by Indonesian authorities in some parts of the country.
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But undeterred by all the reluctance, many Indonesians rejoiced the day with their partners, particularly in major cities where cards and chocolates are widely available. Most of the population follow a moderate form of Islam in the country.
This act of Indonesian government raises a few questions over its motive and outcome.
Will this awkward act of moral policing actually help the government in curbing what they instate as the Western influence?
The paucity of condoms is sufficient enough to discourage teenagers from involving into sexual acts?
If not, then wouldn’t this act pose a threat of teenage pregnancies and contiguity with Sexually Transferrable Diseases?
-prepared by Ashish Srivastava of NewsGram Twitter @PhulRetard