The month of Love is here again. This Valentine’s day, let’s go that one step beyond “self”. Let’s look at sharing our love – not only with our near and dear ones; but with the society at large. And it’s not all that difficult to share when you care.

Under the current circumstances with lockdowns and tough times of sometimes being far from a dear one, the value of love, sharing and caring has gained a new meaning. This Valentine’s month, we take our love one step beyond family and friends – towards caring and sharing, perhaps, as volunteers. Aradhna Sethi takes a look at ‘benevol Schweiz’ – a network of 17 specialist volunteer offices in the German-speaking part of Switzerland.

Love stories bring up that mushy and tingly feeling – sometimes a feeling tinted with good, old-fashioned romance. Sowgandhika Krishnan reviews the 2017 performance of Marguerite and Armand, brought online by The Royal Opera House London as a part of its lockdown time online shows. More from Sowgandhika Krishnan.

From performance to real life. Niti Deoliya shyly giggled when one of the Namaste Switzerland founding members probed if she’d like to share her experiences of searching for a life partner in Switzerland. So, in this article, she shares some of her experiences that earlier went unnoticed. On a lighter note, she says, “Who knows, maybe next Valentine’s Day, you will get to read a spicy ‘love story in Switzerland’ and not ‘story of love in Switzerland’!”

Beginning this month, we will be bringing to you stories of start-ups who have been braving the pandemic. In this time of crisis, let us support entrepreneurs and small businesses on their entrepreneurial journeys!

“I choose to carry India with her wherever I go, through Indian tea,” says Sunita Kour. As the long lines gave way to empty tables, one Basel-based woman entrepreneur decided to share her story of taking her chain of cafes from India to Switzerland, facing a year that was brutal to her business. She tells us how she managed to hold fort through it all. And talks of her love for all things tea! Shinta Simon tells you more.

Chetana Parameshwar is firm in her belief: You’ve got to nourish to flourish! In turbulent times like these when our peace of mind is challenged, finding gratitude is difficult, but essential. But this month, love is in the air. And along with that comes a sense of gratitude to be alive and doing well amidst a pandemic. This heartwarming thought helps us put all other things in perspective. And nourishment for a fit body and mind is key to wellness.

Digitalise your love of Art with Samvidha this issue.

Qwizzeria gives you a challenging quiz to fire up those grey cells in a monthly quiz column.

In ‘Young Voices’, our younger readers express themselves through their art, prose and poetry. This month, editor Nayana Chakrabarti rounds up some of the news highlights of the month of January and gives us a sneak peek of what February has in store for us. Kanhai Vaidya continues her saga of the two sisters, Atreyi Roy Chowdhury writes about friendship while Aryavardhan Mundhra wonders about the setting sun in his poem, and Ishaan Parameswar writes about Captain Mr Mclloyd Blackhawk and his treasure hunt. In the art gallery, you can find the collected creativity of Adrita Sanyal, Bhavin Dhammi, Samanvay Ray and Vedika Ravi Iyer.

Make February 2021 a month of love, care and above all, gratitude!

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Illustration by Sumana Roy Choudhury

Disclaimer: Namaste Switzerland does not undertake any financial, reputational, legal, misrepresentational or other obligation or liability which may arise from the content of this article.