With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by advertisements that make it seem imperative for us to express our love for friends and family with purchased goods. From staples like flowers and candy to bank-breaking jewelry and five-star restaurant reservations, decades of Valentine’s Day marketing have effectively equated love with flashy gifts and showy displays of affection.
Valentine’s Day as we know it in the United States primarily focuses on romantic love, often downplaying or outright excluding the relationships we have with family and friends. Alternatively, the Valentine’s Day equivalent celebrated in many Latin-American countries is “El Día de Amor y Amistad,” or “The Day of Love and Friendship.” In countries such as Colombia and Bolivia, the focus on both love and friendship encourages the celebration of our relationships with families and friends alongside relationships with significant others.
Here are some ideas for how to celebrate this Valentine’s Day as your own personal day of love and friendship:
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