Phnom Penh authorities have said traffic disturbances caused by street vendors selling roses for Valentine’s Day are falling as Cambodians turn to other means to celebrate the occasion.
Addressing a meeting at City Hall yesterday, Phnom Penh Governor Khuong Sreng said flower sales were down.
“Flowers are not selling as well this year because people are using verbal greetings to express Valentine’s wishes,” he said.
In previous years, some young people had bought flowers and raced their vehicles along the streets on Valentine’s Day, leading to accidents, he added.
Mr Sreng said young people were now more understanding of the meaning of Valentine’s Day after being taught about it by the Education Ministry, Culture Ministry, public institutions and their parents.
Sor Sopunna, a resident in Phnom Penh, said February 14 was not really important under Cambodian traditions, adding that people should show love to their family, friends and partners every day.
“The decrease in sales of Valentine’s Day flowers shows that more people are beginning to know the real meaning of love,” he said.
Last week, Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron issued a notice saying that Valentine’s Day made some youths forget to study and engage in activities contrary to Cambodian culture.
He instructed all public and private schools to take measures to prevent immorality on Valentine’s Day, since some students had mistaken ideas about the Western holiday.
“Maintain close contact with parents or guardians and communities to provide any information about irregularities committed by students to educate and instruct them on time,” he said.
Valentine’s Day, also known as Saint Valentine’s Day, is celebrated annually on February 14. It is recognised as a notable cultural and commercial celebration in many parts of the world.