Country of origin: Moldova
“I feel special and sweet on Valentine’s Day. In Moldova people basically celebrate this day same way as in Europe and USA: with lots of red flowers, tons of sweet chocolate and perfume. This holiday is especially celebrated among young generation.”
“I love you” spelling in Romanian (official language in Moldova): “Te iubesc”
Country of origin: Kazakhstan
“On St. Valentine’s Day, Kazakh children and young people usually send cards with warm wishes. Among youth it is popular to leave the card unsigned, to keep the sender’s name in secret. Loving couples receive gifts from each other, dine out celebrating the lovers’ holiday.
“I love you” spelling in Kazakh: “Men seny suyemin”
Oksana Myronovych, Ph.D., assistant professor of practice, computer science
Country of origin: Ukraine
“St. Valentine’s Day is a new, post-Soviet, holiday inherited from western culture. This is not an official public nor religious holiday in Ukraine. However, starting in 1990 St. Valentine’s Day has become widely celebrated as a romantic day by different generations.
The older generation treats this day as a day of love and appreciation. They celebrate by expressing love not just to their sweethearts but everyone they hold dear and special. People wish ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ to friends, parents, siblings or any other person special to them.
The younger generation is more Americanized and celebrate Valentine’s Day much like you would here. In fact, if you found yourself within one of the former Soviet satellites on the 14th of February you wouldn’t feel very much out of place at all.
I wish to all of you to love and be loved and not only on St. Valentine’s Day.”
“I love you” spelling in Ukrainian: “Ya tebe kokhayu”
Sylvio May, Ph.D., associate professor and department chair, physics
Country of Origin: Germany
“I believe the popularity of Valentine’s Day has evolved in a similar way as Halloween. But American influence has made the celebration grow over time. In Germany it’s still much less popular than in United States.”
“I love you” spelling in German: “Ich liebe dich”