Adeyinka Aremu, Osogbo
As lovers across the world brace up for the celebration of Valentine’s Day, a notable social commentator has described the practice as a symbol of colonial mentality and celebration of corruption and immorality.
A notable Nigerian journalist, Elder Yinka Salaam said this in Osogbo at a Seminar tagged Valentine’s Day, Facts and Fallacies over the weekend. The programme was organised by the Guidedsouls Initiative.
He posited that though love is a natural disposition that must be encouraged among humans, Valentine’s Day as celebrated in this era is antithetical to the teachings of religions and ethics of morality, insisting that Valentine’s Day is alien to both Christianity and Islam,
Elder Salaam said Africans and Asians who engage in such activities are victims of colonial mentality – an ‘internalised attitude of ethnic or cultural inferiority felt by a people as a result of colonisation, which corresponds with the belief that the cultural values of the colonizer are inherently superior to one’s own’.
“Colonial mentality is also used in psychology to explain instances of collective depression, anxiety, and other widespread mental health issues in populations that have experienced colonization,” he said.
The resource person, who is also the Southwest Bureau Chief of Voice of Nigeria said Valentine’s Day is rooted in Greeco-Roman civilization which promotes immorality, but unfortunately, many innocent youths who are involved in the practice are ignorant, and have become imitators of anything from foreign lands.”
He described the act of sexual perversion and immorality often embraced by youths on such occasion as unjust to the heroic deed of Saint Valentine who stood against tyranny to promote marriage, family institution and procreation of men.
“Unfortunately many young men and women are deceived due to their weak faith, ignorance, heedlessness and colonial mentality. They are the real colo-menta. Even if Saint Valentine is a Christian hero, no one remembers him today for defending the marriage institution, family ethos and procreation, but what he is remembered for is celebration of sex and immorality – a great disservice to the great man,” he said.
Elder Salaam urged the Nigerian government to emulate India which was also colonised by the British by embarking on true pan-Nigeria national rebirth and cultural consciousness that will make an average citizen be proud of his culture rather than imported ones.
He stressed that inferiority complex and colonial mentality reflect in giving preferences to English language over local languagea as a means of communication within families, as well as preferences over foreign food, foreign dress, foreign products and foreign ideas over local ones. .
“During the period of the British Raj, proponents of British Imperialism typically regarded native Indian culture with disdain and supported European colonization as a beneficial ‘civilizing mission’ which targeted native cultural practices deemed to be “barbaric” by colonial administrators.
“But, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), India’s current ruling party, follows this tradition of nationalistic Hinduism (Hindutva), and promotes an Indian national identity infused with neo-Vedantic thought.,” he said.
The Bureau Chief said, unlike many Nigerians who have practically sold their birth prize, Indians often call whoever exhibits inferiority complex and colonial mentality as ‘Macaulay’s Children’; the term usually used in a derogatory fashion, connoting disloyalty to India and disdain for its culture.
He concluded that the two stories linked to the origin of Valentine’s Day have neither ideological nor theological foundations in any religion, stressing that the practice is a relic of Jahiliyyah, meaning Ignorance in Islamic parlance.
He thus warned both young and adult Nigerians to shun February 14 celebration which he described as a day for “Grand Induction Ceremony of a great multitude of innocent youths and adults into the world of sex, shamelessness, infidelity, perversion, loss of virginity and Sexually Transmitted Diseases in the name of Valentine’s Day or Lover’s Day.”
The event also featured Health Talk on Hepatitis, a viral disease that affects the liver.
Mrs Rasheedat O Hassan, Assist Director of Medical Laboratory at the Ladoke Akintola University, advised Nigerians to know their hepatitis status just as she warned them to shun the predisposed factors as: fats, alcohol, smoking and unprotected sex arising from promiscuity among others.
The Converners Mr AbdulHafiz Busari and Mrs Mujeedah Busari urged the youths to get exposed to modern civilization without getting corrupt it.