The Roman of Love was more than present on Valentine’s Day at Volda University College (VUC). Both Norwegian and international students brought the significance of this day to life. If for some, it was just another day – others tried to make it special.
By Luiza-Bianca Alexe
In a tiny place like Volda, Cupid had this year been playing around with the Arrow of Love. He aimed at the unexpecting, in order to make two students from different cultures could fall in love, and make it work.
The Romanian student Oana is taking an English course at VUC. Until this summer, she was enjoying her single life. Then Cupid decided to intervene, bringing a student of Norwegian language student into her life, Erik from the Philippines. They took it slow, and today, two cultures are mixed through love.
– Coming to Norway I told myself that my goal is to study and work hard, Erik says.
That was before Volda turned out to be the perfect place to find the girl he was looking for.
– I never thought I’d find a girl who could be so similar to those from my own country. She is not afraid to show what she feels, and that makes a huge difference, the Filipino student continues.
To him Norwegians are too dry, and he is sure to have found the expression of love in Oana.
– Both of us are strong individuals, but when we are together, there is no barrier of any kind, Erik says.
What does it take for a relationship between two people from different countries to work?
– Our differences only enrich our relationship, Oana says, before Erik adds;
– On the other hand, it’s definitely important to maintain a balance. More communication is needed than between a couple of the same cultural background. We must respect and support each other every day, he says.
The first Valentine
Before meeting Oana, the Valentine’s Day was just another day for Erik.
– We do not need a day to show our love, but when all lovers celebrate each other, we take part of it, he says.
While being careful not to overdo it, the couple joins in on the international celebration. In Romania more than 12 million flowers are sold this day.
Oana shares her boyfriend’s opinion;
– Valentine’s Day is a special day – as special as all the other days that we have spent together.
– In my country, the day when two persons meet they are celebrating every month as their day, Erik adds.
The day started out surprisingly for Erik when he found a chocolate and a Valentine card on his school desk. Impressed, and happy for the gifts, Erik repaid his chosen one by taking Oana out to a romantic dinner. The day could not have ended more perfectly.
Longing home on Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is a great day indeed, but as any other holiday, it can also leave us longing for home. Being away from her home country, Thoko from Malawi wished she was celebrating the day.
– Back home, it is a huge day. Everybody wears red and white, and go out to give presents to the person they love, Thoko says.
It’s normal for the couples exchanging gifts to find a moment during the day to go for lunch or dinner. But the celebration is not only for couples.
– If there’s someone you like, on this day you have the courage to ask them to be your Valentine. And thus, many relationships have their beginning, Thoko says.
For other students, the day is not all that big of a deal.
– Valentine’s Day is stupid. Why are we supposed to feel more in love, or to show it more, when we can do it every day, Marieke asks.
Although critical of the holiday, Marieke did hold up the tradition by sending her boyfriend a gift, as they agreed on forehand.
Lara and Ivan, a Croatian couple, say it’s just another commercial holiday, and an opportunity for people to act like they care. During the six years they have been together, the two have never celebrated Cupid’s Day.
– Those who try being to be very nice on Valentine’s Day, are often acting like jerks the rest of the year, Lara and Ivan agrees upon.
However, Cupids day was not forgotten. Not even by its name. And if we need a special day to show some love, or not:– Happy Valentine, folks!