“Asia adopts Christmas,” by Robert Marquand, from

“The second-biggest Western import holiday is probably Valentine’s Day. Paper hearts, love letters, and chocolates are all the rage in Asia. In Japan there are separate men’s and women’s Valentine’s days. But the exchange of cards and gifts is still often a cosmopolitan affair that gets frowned on in rural areas. In India’s heartland of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, for example, the idea of young males and females going over the heads of parents to express fondness for one another has caused the trashing of shops that sell the offending cards and chocolates.”

Posted December 25, 2002

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