Hundreds of Indonesian students urge people to say "no" to Valentine's

Featured South East Asia - February 15th, 2013

Hundreds of Muslim schoolchildren in Indonesia gave speeches and distributed colored leaflets urging people to say “no” to Valentine’s Day.

In Surkarta in central Java, a fifth-grader identified as Khodir called on Muslims not to celebrate Valentine’s Day because “Islamic teachings direct unmarried couples against touching each other,” the Jakarta Post reported.

Teachers said the romantic holiday promoted activities that could “damage the morality of Islamic youths”.

“We took the students to join the rally in a bid to remind them not to fall into Valentine’s Day moments,” a teacher said. “What we see in reality is that youths increasingly have no limits when celebrating Valentine’s Day”.

Dozens of students, mostly women, handed leaflets to motorists and passers-by in Banda Aceh ahead of Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day observances were banned by school officials in Pekanbaru on the island of Sumatra, according to The Jakarta Post.

“Valentine’s Day, which is celebrated every February 14, is not part of Indonesian culture and is against Islamic teachings,” said Muhammad Zamzami, chairman of the Aceh chapter of the United Action of Indonesian Islamic Students.