Be My (French) Valentine

Article by Joaquin Mayo

Poster by FHS

The 14th of February marks a special occasion when boxes of chocolate and flower bouquets are a common sight. Valentine’s Day has arrived.

Historically, Valentine’s Day can be traced back to the Roman festival of Lupercalia, a fertility celebration on the 15th of February. Legends claim that the holiday was named after St. Valentine, a priest who was martyred after failing to renounce Christianity. Interestingly enough, it was not until the 14th century that the holiday came to be associated with love. The tradition of card-giving became widespread in the 1850s and since then, has become a staple for couples to display affection to each other.

Here at ISM, special holidays mark an opportunity for organizations to get involved and showcase their talents and ideas to the Bearcat community. Unsurprisingly, Valentine’s Day is no exception.

This year, the French Honor Society (FHS) has decided to host a special Valentine’s Day event entitled Le Pont des Arts. Named after the the Parisian pedestrian bridge crossing the River Seine, the event gives students an opportunity to dedicate a ribbon and some candy to a significant other and tie it around FHS’s own Le Pont des Arts.

In Paris, couples have traditionally put locks on the bridge to symbolize their affection for one another followed by throwing a key into the River Seine below. However, FHS member and sophomore Putra W. says that they have decided to add a new twist to this Valentine custom.

“For our version, we had the community write their names on pieces of paper which they can attach to the bridge using a ribbon. We did this for the festivity of Valentine’s day,” said Putra.

Furthermore, Putra adds, “Ribbons cost 25 pesos while the added chocolate costs 50 pesos. This is not exclusively for couples however and we encourage friends to tie their own ribbons. A portion of our money will toward our service partner.”

Besides helping our local service partners, events such as Le Pont des Arts, among many others, foster feelings of unity and promote Bearcat spirit throughout the school. Without a doubt, ISM students show a willingness to join in these festivities and thus, experience different cultures other than their own.