Friendship Day: Is friendship being defined through materialism?
New Delhi: What comes to your mind when you think of celebrating Friendship Day? If we were in the 90s, we would probably picture writing a letter, making cards or maybe preparing some mouth-watering dishes for the bosom buddy.
But now, whenever Friendship Day is at the verge of arriving, we think of some eye-appealing presents in the shop window, as commercialisation has changed the way we look at anything in today's world.
We can blame advertisements and easy availability of goods, for channeling our minds in a way that we only think of materialistic things when it comes to any celebrations. It is no more about spending time in modelling something from our own hands. In fact, celebration "has become a way to sneak into those online shopping websites and just order anything available within our budget," said Gurnita Das, owner of an online shopping website.
"Festivals have become more like formalities since the purchasing power of millennial is increasing and of course because they have access to technology. They just log in, scroll down, click and purchase. How do we expect to pull out some emotion of this? Sadly, everything including my favourite time of the year- friendship day has become money-oriented, "said Gurnita.
The youths are not completely to be blamed for going off the emotions and accepting commercialisation as a gift to their generation, perhaps their office work and shortage of artisanship can be the reason to go from custom handmade gifts to something contemporary.
"It's not like I am not sensitive enough, it's just the busy schedule from the job and lack of creativity that I prefer buying what is trending. But yeah definitely things have changed, in school we used to gift those beaded bands with our friends' name on it and now a cool gadget works," said 27-year-old, Alfaz Mohammad, one of the customers at the popular gifting shop.
Another customer from the same gifting shop added, "Everything changes with time, so does the way of celebrating fiestas. In the present time, it's through investing your hard-earned bucks to buy happiness and I don't think there is anything negative about it," said Chiththarthan Prasad.
Other than the disappearance of emotions, one other issue that commercialisation has brought in, especially for environmentalists, is the increment in the usage of the substance which adds up to the plastic pollution in our surroundings.
"Now a day's people are blindly spending money on buying cheap plastic items to gift, whose production increases during this so-called special occasion. On the one hand, environmentalists are finding ways to eradicate plastic from the earth whereas, on the other hand, everyone encourages manufacturers to produce such harmful things by buying plastic bands, plastic gadgets, etc. Commercialisation has almost destroyed our senses and environment, and we are not able to realise it," said Vikas Bhalla, one of the customers from the gifting shop.
If we think of Friendship Day as simply another way of indulging ourselves and spending money, it will ruin the very purpose of the celebrating love of our beloved friends. So it's time, we understand, the day is not meant to be an opportunity for financial gain for brands and companies. They are meant to be occasions for spending love on the person who was there in our high and lows.