WHILE Bangkok’s biggest wholesale and retail flower market, Pak Klong Talad, attracted lots of young men and women looking for special flowers to give their loved ones on Valentine’s Day tomorrow with red roses still the most popular flower, the atmosphere this year is not as lively as it usually is, Thai News Agency said today (Feb. 13).
Students and traders too were milling around this market with the latter ordering flowers to resell tomorrow and as expected red roses are in the greatest demand.
These red roses either come to the capital from a big flower market in Chiang Mai or are imported from Hong Kong and China with the average retail price being 30 to 200 baht each.
West Java students not allowed to celebrate Valentine’s Day
Meanwhile according to the Jakarta Post the West Java administration has issued a circular banning students in the conservative province from celebrating Valentine’s Day, saying the Western tradition was against prevailing “religious, social and cultural norms.”
West Java Education Agency head Ahmad Hadadi signed the letter on the ban on Friday. “[The administration] bans students from commemorating Valentine’s Day on February 14, 2017 at school or outside school,” he said.
The official argued that the ban was part of the government’s efforts to build good moral character in students and prevent them from engaging in activities that contravened religious, social and cultural norms.
The circular, he said, had been sent to 27 education agencies in the province.
Local education activist Eko Purwono said the ban was useless, as it simply could not be enforced. “If [students] buy cannabis or crystal meth, police would take action against them,” he said, pointing to the fact that there is no legal ground to criminalize those celebrating Valentine’s Day.
He said he wondered if the administration would actually ban students from buying chocolates on Valentine’s Day.
Debates over Valentine’s Day happen every year in Indonesia, home to the world’s largest Muslim population. The celebration has a strong cultural and commercial presence in the country, despite objection from conservative groups.
Top: A beautiful red rose bouquet on sale at Pak Klong Talad this morning. Photo: Thai News Agency
Inset: A vendor selling pink and cream roses at Pak Klong Talad. Photo: Thai News Agency