13 February 2014, 12:03
St. Valentine's Day festivities prohibited at Osh schools
Osh, February 13, Interfax - The education department in Kyrgyzstan's southern city of Osh has imposed a ban on St. Valentine's Day celebrations at all local schools, the department's director Kushtarbek Kimsanov told Interfax on Thursday.
Kimsakov explained that the measures were intended to avert "the holiday's negative influence on the mental health of children, who are emotionally immature and can easily be influenced by such holidays."
The official, however, declined to say how exactly this holiday could have a negative impact on children, saying that he ordered Osh schools directors to make sure that no boxes for Valentine cards appear in their schools.
Attempts made in previous years to persuade schools students not to celebrate St. Valentine's Day ended in failure, prompting this year's ban on such celebrations, he said.
Youth organizations of Osh have also spoken out against celebrating St. Valentine's Day. They have proposed marking the Family Holiday on February 15.
Youth committee chief specialist Mederbek Abdymanapov told Interfax that the Family Holiday would be celebrated in Osh for the first time this year at the initiative of the city's young people.
"We will take advantage of this holiday to try to revive family values in our society. Unfortunately, St. Valentine's Day celebrations have sad consequences. We can see that it hurts the fates of our very young girls. We need to think about this," Abdymanapov said.
However, the authorities in the country's capital, Bishkek, have not offered any response to the Osh education department's decision to prohibit St. Valentine's Day celebrations at local schools.