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THE WAYS WE SAY

“I Love You”

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THE WAYS WE SAY

“I Love You”

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From the Heart

Since the very beginning, David and Sybil Yurman often expressed their feelings for one another by creating art. Crafted with time, effort and emotion, these gifts said more than words ever could and became symbols that defined—and deepened—their relationship. After all, it was a bronze necklace David sculpted for Sybil that caught the eye of a gallery owner and, with its sale, started the company we know today.

“I love you” speaks volumes when it’s shown, not just said. We declare what’s in our hearts in tangible ways—like cooking a special meal or selecting a meaningful piece of jewelry—and are connected by this experience that’s at once both universal and personal. Each culture has a unique way of conveying affection, and in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we’re sharing some of our favorites with you.

From the Heart

Since the very beginning, David and Sybil Yurman often expressed their feelings for one another by creating art. Crafted with time, effort and emotion, these gifts said more than words ever could and became symbols that defined—and deepened—their relationship. After all, it was a bronze necklace David sculpted for Sybil that caught the eye of a gallery owner and, with its sale, started the company we know today.

“I love you” speaks volumes when it’s shown, not just said. We declare what’s in our hearts in tangible ways—like cooking a special meal or selecting a meaningful piece of jewelry—and are connected by this experience that’s at once both universal and personal. Each culture has a unique way of conveying affection, and in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we’re sharing some of our favorites with you.

This Valentine’s Day, we celebrate the
myriad ways in which people around the
world express their affection.

This Valentine’s Day, we celebrate the myriad ways in which people around the world express their affection.

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Labor of Love

Public displays of affection are frowned upon in Japan, so taking care of one another is usually the best way to say “I love you” there. Men often carry their partner’s bags, and women frequently make their lovers an elaborate lunch known as bento.

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Labor of Love

Public displays of affection are frowned upon in Japan, so taking care of one another is usually the best way to say “I love you” there. Men often carry their partner’s bags, and women frequently make their lovers an elaborate lunch known as bento.

With Each Passing Day

For Scandinavian men, cooking, cleaning and childcare are everyday expressions of love—an egalitarian approach towards gender roles that makes everyone happy.

With Each Passing Day

For Scandinavian men, cooking, cleaning and childcare are everyday expressions of love—an egalitarian approach towards gender roles that makes everyone happy.

Spoonful of Sugar

Each year on January 25, the Welsh get a head start on Valentine’s Day with their celebration of Saint Dwynwen, the patron saint of lovers. In a popular custom dating back to the 17th century, men traditionally present their beloved with a wooden spoon carved with meaningful motifs such as a horseshoe (for good luck) or wheels (signifying support). Today, the intricate utensils mark other moments like anniversaries and births, expressing the same message: Rwy’n dy garu di (Welsh for “I love you”).

Spoonful of Sugar

Each year on January 25, the Welsh get a head start on Valentine’s Day with their celebration of Saint Dwynwen, the patron saint of lovers. In a popular custom dating back to the 17th century, men traditionally present their beloved with a wooden spoon carved with meaningful motifs such as a horseshoe (for good luck) or wheels (signifying support). Today, the intricate utensils mark other moments like anniversaries and births, expressing the same message: Rwy’n dy garu di (Welsh for “I love you”).

Your Better Half

In many Asian countries, Valentine’s Day is just the first of two major holidays celebrating romantic relationships. On February 14, the focus is on women, who give men chocolate to show their affection. One month later, on March 14—known as White Day—men return the gesture with gifts of white chocolate, colorful candies and jewelry. And for those with no one to share these holidays, South Korea takes it one step further with Black Day, observed on April 14 by lone individuals who consume the comfort food jiajangmyeon (black bean-paste noodles) with other single friends.

Your Better Half

In many Asian countries, Valentine’s Day is just the first of two major holidays celebrating romantic relationships. On February 14, the focus is on women, who give men chocolate to show their affection. One month later, on March 14—known as White Day—men return the gesture with gifts of white chocolate, colorful candies and jewelry. And for those with no one to share these holidays, South Korea takes it one step further with Black Day, observed on April 14 by lone individuals who consume the comfort food jiajangmyeon (black bean-paste noodles) with other single friends.

Craft Work

For the Zulu people of South Africa, intricate beadwork designs serve as love letters. Using patterns of triangles crafted from various colored beads, Zulu women create these symbols of affection to communicate specific sentiments. Each bead color and combination convey their own meaning: black signifies marriage, yellow portrays fertility, pink represents promise, and so on.

Craft Work

For the Zulu people of South Africa, intricate beadwork designs serve as love letters. Using patterns of triangles crafted from various colored beads, Zulu women create these symbols of affection to communicate specific sentiments. Each bead color and combination convey their own meaning: black signifies marriage, yellow portrays fertility, pink represents promise, and so on.

An image of a Zulu woman wearing a colorful garment while sitting on a stone street and creating an intricately beaded object.

A B O V E
Zulu beadwork is rich in artistry and meaning. Here, a Zulu woman creates an intricately beaded object.
 

R I G H T
The Zulu “love letter,” a cultural tradition of South Africa’s largest ethnic group.

Zulu beadwork is rich in artistry and meaning. Here,
a Zulu woman creates an intricately beaded object.

A Zulu love letter, created from white, green, yellow and navy beads, laying across a dark surface.

The Zulu “love letter,” a cultural tradition of South Africa’s largest ethnic group.

P.S. I Love You

One of Denmark’s most unique expressions of love is the funny poem or note called gaekkebrev, “joke letters” written on carefully folded and cut pieces of paper that resemble snowflakes. White flowers called “snowdrops” often accompany the letters, signed only with dots—one for each letter in the sender’s name. According to tradition, if the recipient can correctly guess the identity of their admirer, they are rewarded with an Easter egg later in the year.

P.S. I Love You

One of Denmark’s most unique expressions of love is the funny poem or note called gaekkebrev, “joke letters” written on carefully folded and cut pieces of paper that resemble snowflakes. White flowers called “snowdrops” often accompany the letters, signed only with dots—one for each letter in the sender’s name. According to tradition, if the recipient can correctly guess the identity of their admirer, they are rewarded with an Easter egg later in the year.

Love Thy Neighbor

In Mexico, February 14 is known as El Dia del Amor y Amistad—the Day of Love and Friendship—when Mexicans celebrate love not only for their significant others, but also for friends and the community. On this day, many people express their affection by exchanging gifts of balloons, candy and home-baked sweets.

Love Thy Neighbor

In Mexico, February 14 is known as El Dia del Amor y Amistad—the Day of Love and Friendship—when Mexicans celebrate love not only for their significant others, but also for friends and the community. On this day, many people express their affection by exchanging gifts of balloons, candy and home-baked sweets.

Love in Full Bloom

While a dozen red roses may be considered a romantic gift in Western countries, the gesture won’t go over so well in Russia, where even numbers of flowers are reserved for grieving and funerals.

Love in Full Bloom

While a dozen red roses may be considered a romantic gift in Western countries, the gesture won’t go over so well in Russia, where even numbers of flowers are reserved for grieving and funerals.