Asia- Valentine’s Day celebrations on Tuesday 14 have been banned by authorities in parts of Indonesia and Pakistan to discourage casual sex.
According to Reuters, officials said the romantic tradition encourages casual sex and goes against cultural norms to Asia’s largest Muslim populations.
In Surabaya, Indonesia schools were ordered to prohibit students from celebrating Valentine’s Day according to Reuters and in Makassar, police raided minimarts and seized condoms in a bid to prevent teenagers from having sex.
Makassar police official said in a media report, “These raids were done after we received reports from residents that the minimarts were selling condoms in an unregulated way on Valentine’s Day,”
In 2012 Indonesia’s highest Islamic Clerical Council declared Valentines Day forbidden, saying it was contradictory to Muslim culture and teachings.
In Pakistan the Islamabad High Court also banned public Valentine’s Day celebrations in its capital and ordered the media to ensure that nothing about the celebration of Valentine’s Day and its promotion is spread according to Reuters.
Haider Ali who was interviewed by Reuters said, “That hurt some businesses in the city of 2 million people,”I’ve sold at least 50 percent less flowers today than in past years. People just haven’t come out to buy them.
However in Indonesia Valentine’s Day has grown in popularity with companies, like national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, looking to cash in by offering special discounts and promotions.
Thailand’s government, concerned with its falling birth rate, handed out vitamins to married couples to try to encourage them to have children.
In eastern India, police placed two members of the Bajrang Dal and four activists from a fringe political party in preventive detention to ensure they didn’t disrupt celebrations.
In Mumbai, the Hindu-nationalist Shiv Sena party said”We are neutral about Valentine’s Day.”
Spokesman Neelam Gorhe said, “as far as this year is concerned, we have asked cadres not to give any violent reaction.”