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It’s a cultural thing! Here are different ways of expressing love

Published on 03 December 2017|
1 min read

By Olivia James, Carrybeans

Words are just words till you put them into action, and this includes the “3 words, 8 letters, 1 meaning”.

Ha! Of course, different people have different ways of expressing the three little words. Some prefer to hold their partner’s hand in public while others would opt for a romantic candle-lit dinner on a quiet Friday night.

Did you know that different cultures have their own way of expressing love to the partner?

Continue reading to find out!


It is known to most of us that when a rose or a bouquet of roses is given to someone, it symbolises the giver’s love. Guys, if you want to court a Russian girl, or in fact, are dating one, NEVER give her roses- I mean, NEVER give her a dozen roses or an even number of any flowers. In this country, flowers of an even number are only meant for funerals. Odd numbers represent happiness while even numbers, well, the opposite.


Swedes are said to be emotionally reserved. Thus, they are often found expressing love indirectly with fewer body movements and facial expressions. Another interesting fact is that the Swedes are into gender equality. Thus, to say ‘I love you’, the men will gladly do the house chores (based on research by Oxford University) and also look after the family. Swedish men do not expect the women to 100% take over the upkeep of the house. They will gladly do the work (but of course, the women must do their part too) to ensure everyone’s happy.



Public display of affections (PDA) are not considered to be ‘a thing’ in Japan. They are, apparently, considered taboo. Due to their conservative culture, they believe that PDAs may make the people around them uncomfortable. Therefore, the Japanese have their own ways of expressing love, subtly. For example, the women will make elaborate bento or lunch boxes for their husbands.

The more elaborative the lunch box, the more likely it is that her husband’s colleagues will turn green with envy.

At this point, husbands will get the opportunity to boast to his colleagues about his “aisai bento” which means beloved-wife bento. Here, both parties are caring for each other (awwww), which is another form of expressing “I love you”.


South Africa

Back in the days, people would express “I love you” in handwritten love letters. In this modern generation, we just find any related GIFs on Facebook and tag our partner. But in Zulu, there’s this thing called Zulu love letters. This love letter is actually made out of colourful beads made only by women.

A woman in Zulu will express her love to the partner by giving out intricate beadwork. Specific colours and designs have specific meanings.


What’s yours?

So, there you go, friends. Here are 4 cultures with their unique ways of expressing “I love you” to the significant other. Of course, there are many more!

How about you? How do you express love in your country? Share with us in the comments section below.

Interested to know what are the 7 beautiful ways of saying “I Love You”? Click here.

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