Let’s Talk About… Love All Around The World!
“Love is a force more formidable than any other. It is invisible – it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession could”. This beautiful quote about love belongs to American relationship and personal growth adviser Barbara De Angelis and after I found it, I know I had to start my post with it.
Love = it’s a strong feeling of affection or a great interest in something or someone.
If it’s great interest in something, it’s called hobby or passion. If that great interest is in someone, it’s called falling in love.
Love is an emotion, an attachment, kindness, passion or affection. It’s a good feeling about someone or something, it’s something we can’t actually feel or touch like De Angelis said, but it’s a sentiment so big and so strong, that changes everything around us. And even if we don’t speak the same language all over the globe, we all feel the same way, we all love someone and we are loved back. But, there is a catch – we feel the same, but we express differently.
Even though we can find many types of love like the way we care about our family and friends, the way we cherish and take care of an animal or material things, the way we like our jobs, the way we value life or the romantic form, the Ancient Greeks came up with only four different kinds of love:
– AGAPE – the unconditional kind of love for anyone and everyone
– PHILEO – the platonic kind of love
– STORGE – the kind of love you have for family and friends.
– EROS – the most passionate and intense kind of love between humans.
Today I’m going to focus on how different cultures embrace love and how people from various places display it or say it.
I Love You in Different Languages
These three little words are the hardest and most anticipated words when it comes to a new relationship, to a new dear friend or even to our mothers and fathers. But, everyone likes to hear these words and that’s because they mean so much.
Saying “I love you” means, you’re a part of me, will be together through the good and the bad because I care about you.
So, although the feeling of love is universal, every culture and language have a unique way of saying these word, even though today, most people on the planet knows how to say it in English.
Here are some examples we should learn:
- Spanish: there are two ways to say it in Spain and it depends on who you’re addressing:
- – “Te Quiero”: they use this when they express feelings to family and friends
- – “Te Amo”: they use this in a romantic way
- French: oh yeah, the most romantic people on Earth and the language of love. They have two options to express it too:
- – “Je t’Aime”: which refers to strong love emotion)
- – “Je T’Adore” which can be translated to I really like you.
- German: they say they’re coldest ones on this planet, but they have feelings too and they express them like this:
- – “Ich Habe Dich Gerne”: which can be translated to I care about you.
- – the famous “Ich Liebe Dich” the strong emotion of romantic love.
- Italian – these people have so many different ways of saying how they care or love someone:
- – “Ti Adoro”: it translates to I adore you and they use it when they really like someone.
- – “Ti Voglio bene”: meaning I care for you – I want the best for you. Usually, they use these words for friends and family.
- – “Ti Amo!”– (I love you): The Italian words that mean you got strong feelings.
- – “Daisuki desu”– (I really like you) – this can be used among friends, or playfully between couples.
- – “Aishiteru” – (I love you) – when you’re really mean it and you’re falling in love with someone.
- – “Sarang Hae” – (I love you) – when you care deeply about someone.
- – “Jugeul Mankeum Sarang Hae”– (I love you to death) – when you feel like you are really in love.
- – “Ana Bahebak” are the only two magic words you need.
- – “Te Iubesc” – we use this to show that we care for our family members, to our friends, and to our lovers.
- – “Te Ador” – we use this when we feel that we really like someone more than the usual.
Don’t be afraid and show that you love someone, because like Albert Camus once said, we have one universal goal: “I know of only one duty, and that is to love”.
Showing your love in different cultures:
Saying I love you is one thing, but showing your love is another. We all celebrate love and we’re always looking for more new excuses to do so. Valentine’s Day isn’t enough for us to honor love.
After helping you how to express your feelings in other languages, I’m going to give more reasons, excuses, and ideas for celebrations.
Let’s see how lovers from around the world express love and affection within diverse cultures.
Public manifestations of affection like holding hands are extremely regarded as something that shouldn’t be displayed in public.
Therefore, Japanese people favor showing they care with other gestures like preparing their favorite lunch for their loved ones.
Love Tip: The way to someone’s heart is through the stomach with a homecooked meal.
As for Valentine’s Day – women are the ones to give homemade chocolates to all men in their lives, but only the special man receives a special chocolate. One month later, the special man has to return the favor with his own chocolate.
They celebrate like Japan, on 14th of February, women give men chocolates and a month later the favor is returned.
But, on April 14 they celebrate “Black Day,” in favor for those who were single during February and March festivities and they go out for a delicious dish.
Also, the 14th of every month is a love-related holiday:
Candle Day, Valentine’s Day, White Day, Black Day, Rose Day, Kiss Day, Silver Day, Green Day, Music Day, Wine Day, Movie Day, and Hug Day.
In my country, we have “Dragobete”, or “Love Day,” is celebrated in February on 24. Dragobete is actually Romanian mythological version of Eros or Cupid.
Boys and girls exchange gifts, or chocolates and flowers to show their affection.
China’s version of Valentine’s Day, the Qixi Festival, comes on the seventh day of the seventh month on the lunar calendar (usually somewhere mid-August) where girls have to demonstrate they possess the domestic skills necessary for marriage.
On 20th September, it’s celebrated Love and Friendship Day (Dia de Amor y Amistad), which is the Latin Version of Valentine’s Day, but more about friendship, less about romance which is essentially an equivalent to Valentine’s Day. Friends gather together and go for drinks and dinner and play the game of “Secret friend” which is the same as “Secret Santa”.
Here, they take it seriously when it’s about Valentine’s Day. In the last years, mass wedding celebrations became a huge deal and crazy popular. For example, in 2013, approximately 4000 couples were married on that day. Also on this day, there is another short-term celebration: kissing. In 2004, more than 5000 couples broke the record for a simultaneously kiss that lasted 10 seconds.
Here, besides giving flowers on V-Day, and not any flowers, but “Snowdrops”, the lovers have the tradition of “joke letters” which contains a funny poem or love letter. At the end of the letter, the one who sends it puts little dots, one for each letter of his or her name, in order for the recipient to guess the sender’s name. If the recipient can guess, the sender owes him or her an Easter Egg on Easter Day.
So, it doesn’t matter where you live, or where you are from. Love is the same – positive and good feelings towards someone. I will leave it to Anne Frank to help me end my lovely post with this deep quote: “Love, what is love? I don’t think you can really put it into words. Love is understanding someone, caring for him, sharing his joys and sorrows. This eventually includes physical love. You’ve shared something, given something away and received something in return.”