From China to Wales and everywhere in between, people from different countries and cultures have their own unique ways of expressing love.
Here are a few of them:
- ILU: For Chinese families, saying “I love you” isn’t really a thing. Here’s why: The culture is more formal, and saying “Wo ai ni” – or “I love you” in Mandarin – signifies “commitment, rather than affection,” according to writer Candice Chung. Chinese families express their affection in other ways, though, like making delicious meals.
- All Year Long: Forget celebrating love just once a year on Valentine’s Day. South Korea celebrates on the 14th of every month! With days like “Diary Day” on January 14th, during which couples exchange yearly planners and map out their special dates, and movie dates on November 14th, we want to join in on the fun, too!
- Love Locked: You know the phrase, “You’re the key to my heart”? At the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris and the Ponte Milvio in Rome, people celebrate their love by attaching love-note padlocks to the walls and tossing the keys into the water. Magnifique!
- The Art of Spooning: Wales takes spooning to a new level. Beginning in the 17th century, Welsh men have carved spoons out of wood and given them as presents to their love interests. Initially, these lovespoons were simple and functional by design, but over time, intricate patterns of love came out of the wood work, making the lovespoons more suited for treasured wall decorations. You can still see lovespoons given as wedding, Valentine’s Day, and even birthday gifts.
- Tied and True: If you’ve ever made a friendship bracelet, we hope you enjoy this little history lesson! Maybe you are even wearing one right now. Friendship bracelets originated from Central American Indian crafts, according to Life Script, and became popular in the U.S. in the 1970s. Did you know that the pink color of friendship bracelets means “kind,” and black means “strong?” Find out more about the meaning behind friendship bracelets in the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania’s awesome guide. You can even learn how to make your own for a friend!