Friday, February 10, 2017

Long Live Celebrations!

Television channels and newspapers announced commencement of “Valentine week” with celebration of “Rose Day” on Feb 7, followed by “Propose Day” on 8th and “Chocolate Day” today (Feb 9).  The coming days, in that order, will be Teddy Day, Promise Day, Kiss Day, Hug Day, and finally, the big Valentine Day on Feb 14. Don’t be surprised if an ardent wannabe of the Valentine wonderland adds more “days” to prolong the celebrations a fortnight long affair!

It seems there are more days attributed for various celebrations and observance than 365 in a year! Remember, these are in addition to traditional festivals and national holidays.

The electronic and digital revolution triggered celebrations of even obscure ‘days’. How many Indians heard about Valentine Day, not to speak of its celebration, a decade ago? Our very own “Karva Chauth” which was observed on a very limited scale earlier, has now become a popular big scale celebration, thanks to eulogistic portrayal of the occasion in some Bollywood blockbusters.

Backed by advertising and publicity blitzkrieg, celebrations have become big business opportunities. Branded outlets, shopping malls and hotels launch special offers for each occasion. Event management has also become an integral part of these celebrations.

The upper class status symbols of branded products apart, it is interesting to see that festivals and even days of spiritual significance are getting ‘branded’. Branding of festivals has become an upper class extravaganza of show-baazi in post residential colonies and shopping centers. Advertising agencies and event managers are roped in to “manage” the events.

In the melee to outdo others, display of extravaganza becomes all the more important, leaving aside the spiritual aspects and originality of the occasion.  Men and women dress up exclusively for each occasion. Designers “modernize” traditional dresses. There is no dearth of people to buy such glittering dresses at excessively high prices.

Now-a-days people are always on “selfie mode”. Even before a celebration is over, social media is flooded with photographs in different poses and outfits.

India is a land of festivals. We are moving fast towards globalization and digitalization. We can proudly claim that we have pioneered globalization of festivals. Don’t be concerned over celebration of Valentine Day, an import from the West. Have you not heard of Diwali celebrations at the White House!

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