APPARENTLY determined to break Cupid’s heart and delight miserable single people, the Indonesian city of Banda Aceh reminded its residents that celebrating Valentine’s Day is illegal.
This blanket ban applies to everything from sending bouquets and chocolates to selling Valentine’s merchandise to social media “activity.” In other words, if you’re feeling the love, keep it to yourself.
According to media reports, Banda Aceh Mayor Illiza Saaduddin Djamal said: “Citizens and the young generation are not allowed to celebrate days that aren’t part of Islamic culture. The law says it is haram. The city government must protect its citizens from acts that are haram.”
“Haram” translates as “forbidden”.
Authorities intend to erect signs throughout the city to remind citizens about the ban. Also, personnel will observe certain public spaces to ensure that the prohibition is in effect.
“For the offenders, we will educate them,” the mayor said.
Banda Aceh is the capital of Aceh – Indonesia’s most conservative state, which observes strict adherence to Islamic sharia law. The city has banned marking Valentine’s Day as well as other Western observances, including New Year’s Eve.
But bans on festivals may be the least of the ‘inconveniences’ one might be subject to in Aceh. For example, women are forbidden from riding motorcycles with a man who is not a relative.
Women are required to wear a headscarf, and are banned from wearing tight pants. Violating the dress code three times is enough to earn you nine lashes of the cane.
Pic via Shutterstock