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Posted at 01:13 PM ET, 01/30/2012

Valentine’s Day canceled in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan is having trouble feeling the love tonight.


Red roses. (Bill O'Leary - WASHINGTON POST)
Authorities in the country have virtually canceled Valentine’s Day by nixing planned concerts and other events, according to the Associated Press, citing a report by Russian news agency RIA-Novosti.

Instead, Uzbeki lovers will have to content themselves with a government-organized reading of poems by medieval Mughal emperor Babur, who wrote about monuments, flora and fauna, wine parties and battle strategy, according to the Telegraph.

Uzbekistan’s unofficial ban on romantic celebrations isn’t new. Last year, news agency Turkiston described Valentine’s Day as the work of “forces with evil goals bent on putting an end to national values.”

Other Muslim countries feel equally as frigid toward the amorous holiday, which is a nominally Christian one.

Saudi Arabia and Iran have both banned celebration of the day, Voice of America reports. Iranian officials last year said they would take action against amorous citizens who ignored the ban. Saudi Arabia prohibits the gifting of red on V-day — including chocolates, bears, or roses, according to the Saudi Gazette.

In India, right-wing group Sri Rama Sena warned in 2010 that it would take action against educational institutions, restaurants and theaters if they encouraged Valentine's day celebrations. Some adherents of the group even burned Valentine’s Day cards.

“If a couple in love are really interested, the Sena will contact their parents and arrange to get them married,” said Pramod Muthalik, head of the Sena’s parent organization, One India News reports.

Malaysia joined in the spoil-sporting last year when it announced it would crack down on “immoral acts” during the holiday as part of a wider campaign for its citizens’ lifestyles to be “sin-free.”

The head of the Malaysian Islamic Development Department told state media: “In reality, as well as historically, the celebration of Valentine's Day is synonymous with vice activities.”

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By  |  01:13 PM ET, 01/30/2012

Tags:  World, Uzbekistan, Valentine's Day

 
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