Like many other days in Hong Kong, Valentine’s Day is very commercialised. There is immense pressure to buy the biggest bunch of flowers to your girlfriend or wife and to be “forced” to order an overpriced Valentine’s Day set in most restaurants; as they will not serve their normal menus on that day.
If you go to Discovery Bay on that day, you will see groups of couples, with large bunch of flowers walking around and sitting on the crowded beach. It is like some kind of big group activity and everyone needs to comply with the minimum requirements set: you should appear in public with your boyfriend/girlfriend ( otherwise, please hide yourself in your bedroom as you are a deviation; maybe even a shameful one :P); the girl should be displaying the “proof of love” given by her partner, have dinner at one of the local restaurants; and then sit at the beach where there will be decoration of hearts to go with all the celebration.
I also heard this story from a Hongkonger friend on his experience with Valentine’s Day this year.
His wife has previously told him not to get any flowers for Valentine’s Day, as she said it was a waste of money.
The husband had promised to buy her something ( which she can choose later); as he has applied for a new credit card and he had to make some purchase with this new card in order to get the bluray player for free.
According to the husband’s understanding, this will be the way how he is going to cover for his wife’s Valentine’s day gift this year. ( I must admit this is a very practical solution but not a very romantic one).
So on Valentine’s Day, he had to work late in the office due to his busy work schedule as usual. On the way back, he thought, it is not good to arrive home empty handed; so he bought one rose for his wife. After all , it is Valentine’s Day, he felt he should bring his wife at least something.
He got home with his single rose, and gave it to his wife. However, his wife was very unhappy. The reason was, if the husband were to buy flowers for her, it should be a big bunch and sent to her office so others can see. Why waste your money on a single rose which he bought at $70 and no one would see. The theory is if you were to ‘waste’ money on expensive flowers, then at least spend it so that one can show off. It seems that if the flower is going to be just between you and me, then don’t waste that money….
My reaction to this is little story is, this seems to be a very Hong kong thing; maybe what often people relate to as “Kong Lui” characteristics ( Kong Lui means Hong Kong girl; as in a typical HK gal). Well, you can’t just blame it on the gal, as this is probably a reflection of HK society. After all we are all under social pressure of some sort, but we can still try to see how much we let ourselves be subjected to it.
I like Valentine’s day, it is a day to show your love for a special one. It may be commercialized but I still like it. It is a day when you may receive something very sweet, like a teddy bear, chocolates or flowers. However, I certainly appreciate these things because it represents my loved one’s thought for me and not as a show-off in the office.
Well fortunately or unfortunately, I didnt’ have any V-day issue this year; because I merely went out with a very good girlfriend for a drink. Perhaps next year, the issue may come up, but if it does, can you please send the flowers to my home, so that I don’t need to carry and walk the streets with it all night. Thanks for being considerate 🙂