Kellerassel/Wikipedia

Upset with Western decadence, the government of Uzbekistan is urging its citizens to shun Valentine's in favor of Emperor Babur.

Ladies: What should your boyfriend get you today, a Valentine's card and box of sweets or a book of poems inspired by 16th-century Muslim conqueror Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur?

Definitely the latter option, according to Uzbekistan's government.

This year, central Asia's most populous country put out the word that Valentines' Day card-and-gift exchanging is not acceptable behavior in Tashkent, Samarkand, Namangan or any other Uzbek city. Instead, the Department for Enlightenment and Promoting Values is urging its people – especially the youth, who have embraced the lovers' holiday – to honor the Feb. 14 birthday of Emperor Babur, founder of south Asia's Mughul dynasty and distant relative of Genghis Khan.

Dinner and a movie is nice, suggest the ministers, but much nicer would be a book reading on Babur's significant geopolitical accomplishments.

So is someone high in the Uzbek government totally trying to cover up for not buying his lady a present?

Actually, the ban is part of an ongoing effort by this mostly Muslim country to shun the decadent and "alien" culture of the West, as the BBC reports:

In the past few weeks there have been several articles attacking foreign soap operas from Mexico and Latin America for being too explicit and for undermining local values and traditions.

Similar criticism was levelled against hard rock and rap music in an extensive campaign a year ago. A Youth Channel on state TV labelled the music "Satanic", feeding on drug addiction and immorality.

The government set up a special censorship body to monitor rap music, register artists and hold regular meetings to encourage the use of more wholesome lyrics.

The V-Day decree is bad news for lovers of chocolate and plushy animals. On the other hand, it opens the door for terrifying gifts like this colorful novella, whose book jacket well conveys the screams of the damned who fell under the sword of Babur.

Top image of Babur from Kellerassel.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: Police line up outside the White House in Washington, D.C. as protests against the killing of George Floyd continue.
    Perspective

    America’s Cities Were Designed to Oppress

    Architects and planners have an obligation to protect health, safety and welfare through the spaces we design. As the George Floyd protests reveal, we’ve failed.

  2. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

  3. Equity

    What Happened to Crime in Camden?

    Often ranked as one of the deadliest cities in America, Camden, New Jersey, ended 2017 with its lowest homicide rate since the 1980s.

  4. A participant holding a Defund Police sign at the protest in Brooklyn.
    Equity

    The Movement Behind LA's Decision to Cut Its Police Budget

    As national protesters call for defunding police, a movement for anti-racist “people’s budgets” is spreading from LA to Nashville to Grand Rapids.

  5. photo: Police in riot gear march down Plymouth Avenue during riots in North Minneapolis on July 21, 1967.
    Equity

    Why This Started in Minneapolis

    Conditions that led to George Floyd’s death are not unique to Minneapolis and St. Paul. But there’s a reason why the Twin Cities triggered a national uprising.

×