When I was a young girl, my parents told me the story of (what is thought to be) the origin of Valentine’s Day – how the Roman priest, Valentine, secretly and illegally conducted marriages between young people, behind the back of Emperor Claudius, who believed that married men made weak soldiers. Valentine was punished and jailed. Before execution, he wrote a letter to the jailer’s daughter, who he loved dearly, signing it ‘from your Valentine’.
This story (true or untrue) has stuck with me. From a young age, my mum would take my sister and I to the shops to select cards to post to our nanima and dadima. Although some could argue that this did, in some way, support the hype of Valentine’s Day, my sister and I just saw it as an excuse to tell the people we loved, how much they meant to us. This extended to our parents, grandparents and close friends. My sister and I, to this day, still send our grandmothers a card. Love doesn’t need a day to mark it, but I do think Valentine’s Day is a good reminder to be grateful for our loved ones.
With February 14th around the corner, I’m aware that commercialised marketing will be in full swing. With this in mind, I feel compelled to to share (what I hope to be) a simpler take on Valentine’s Day with a dadima’s love campaign. I’d like to make a toast to love in all its forms, not just between couples. Dadima’s is about celebrating wisdom and ‘connecting generations’. Between now and February 14th, I’m taking the theme of love from Valentine’s Day, and combining it with some dadima’s-style wisdom. I’ll be speaking to people of different generations, and finding out their words of wisdom on love – be it a love for life, health, for their nearest and dearest, home-cooking, and even finding love. I recognise that everyone’s take will be different. I’ll also be sharing some quotes from past competitions and from dadima’s book.
As always, I’d love to hear from you. If you’d like to share your own wisdom on love, or advice passed down to you, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org. It would also be great if you could send in a photo to go with your text. Our love campaign is being supported by Element’s Kitchens. As well as sharing your wisdom on love, you could be in with the chance to win a great prize, so do check out our joint competition. Details are on dadima’s facebook and instagram pages.
Regardless of your relationship status, I hope you enjoy the wisdom shared on love over the next few weeks. I hope it makes a refreshing change to some commercialised messages, and it helps you to connect with the ones you love in a simple, unfussy and relaxed way, without spending lots of money. Because money can’t buy us love!