A Celebration of Love and Friendship on February 13

AAFSW celebrated St. Valentine’s Day one day early this year. At a luncheon graciously hosted by Sonia Moore and her mother Dora, 14 ladies and one gentleman shared their Valentine traditions, both in the dishes they brought and in the stories they told of Valentine’s celebrations in their home countries. These were people from many countries around the world, with Greece, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, China, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Korea, and the U.S. represented. Some of the guests brought poetry from their countries for the occasion, including love poems from Peru and Korea.

Most interesting however, were the stories of how Valentine’s Day is celebrated in their countries. The young man expressing his love in Mexico usually serenades the young lady of his affections by singing under her window. Several of the ladies talking about their own experiences had interesting stories to tell. In one case the singer sang beautifully, but the window he sang under belonged not to the young lady, but to her father!

While Korea and China and other countries of the Far East have only started to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day in modern times with traditions mostly brought over from America, love knows no boundaries and these countries have many poems, songs and stories, not to mention their own traditions for courting. The Korean poem read by Seyoung Thomas certainly illuminated some of these traditions.

It was a wonderful gathering, highlighted by warmth and good fellowship.

Alfredo Barela
AAFSW Member