From country to country, and even regionally, there are many different ways to say the word “love.” But despite language barriers, one thing is certain: the true meaning of the word transcends cultural boundaries and consumes our hearts when we’re lucky enough to feel it. It doesn’t matter where you are this Valentine’s Day, love is ever-present throughout the world. Here are three words for love you may not typically hear, in three places you may not typically think about this Valentine’s Day:

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“Citemwiko”—Love from Zambia

The word “Citemwiko” comes from the Bemba language—one of eight dialects used in Zambia. Outreach International is combating poverty, poor nutrition and lack of water in communities of Zambia, and all the while, families continue to carry through each day with pervasive love for one another.


“Upendo”—Love from DR Congo

“Upendo” is Swahili. As one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world, DR Congo has more than 200 native dialects. Outreach International has been working diligently in DR Congo to help bring food, clean water and medicines to impoverished villages. And despite their many struggles, the community members always look towards each other to find hope and share love.


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“प्यार”—(pronounced Pyāra) Love from India

“प्यार” is Hindi—the official language of India. Nearly 425 million people in the world speak Hindi as their first language. Outreach International is currently working in poverty-stricken, rural India, creating solutions for poor health and sanitation, insufficient water systems and poor housing. Communities in these areas stick together through difficult times, helping each other through unfavorable conditions by showing their unconditional love for family.