FINALLY here’s my blog that I had written about DC…..
Every year Washington has a festival in honor of the blooming of the cherry blossoms. In case you didn’t know (because I sure didn’t!) the significance behind these trees is all about our relationship with Japan. In 1912, Japan’s Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo gave 3,000
cherry trees to the city of Washington, DC. The festival honors this relationship between the two countries and this has held true throughout the years. It is an ultimate hand of peace and unity between the two cultures (something that the US is in desperate need of today actually).
Every year at spring, DC breaks out in a city wide celebration of the Japanese to highlight the arrival of the season and blossoms with a festival and parade. After being in Japan, I feel like I may have missed out on some of the raw historical culture that Japan has to offer. Well, I generally was stuck in the hotel room most of the time, but I had also read that the southern regions of the country are a little more present with the authentic Japanese customs and culture. Tokyo is so modern and fast paced in
comparison to what I think of Japan. But then this festival came about in DC, WITH the opportunity for me to attend! They had kite flying competitions, lantern making, geisha dancing, and taiko drummers. Saburo Teshigawara and Karas, which are new contemporary styles of Japanese dance are coming into the world today, were introduced to me and I fell in love. Some dances would tell stories while others, would show journeys of an individual. It was an incredible experience to watch. Especially to me, who wanted so badly to find that cultural niche that I had been missing out on.
I was so sad that Wayne wasn’t there with us (both me and my mom). After being in Japan, he would have had a similar appreciation to the foods and garments and decoration which we had just seen in the country itself. There were a hundred different booths with Japanese foods and crafts, and actual souvenirs that we bought on our trip here for the DC public! Everything was ridiculously authentic! Then at the ends of the street festival there were
stages for music and dances. I think I may have sat there watching these beautiful dancers (both young and old) flying across the stage for over an hour without even moving. I was so transfixed on their every move. There were so graceful and moved with this incredible delicate purpose. It was unlike anything I had ever seen before. The music was hypnotizing as it was so new and irregular for me. This just goes to show you that perhaps to truly appreciate a culture, you must embrace it in another
Unfortunately, it was a gorgeous day and brought everyone out from every corner of Maryland. It was hard to move around and see everything that we wanted to. In fact, the festival was at the maximum capacity and there was a huge line to get in when we left.
The whole experience of the cherry blossom festival sort of trumped the rest of the DC trip for me. It was just amazing to feel like I had got a second chance at what I feel I missed. To see this culture so embraced and celebrated made me excited to be a part of it. My
mom and I also explored all the monuments and memorials, Georgetown, and the neighborhoods that make up Washington. Whenever foreigners ask me about cities in the States that are really great “go to” places, DC really never came to mind. Of course New York, San Fran, Florida, and Chicago are so big, but I must admit I never gave DC the attention it so deserves! It is breath-takingly beautiful, full of history, and there is no way that you could ever see everything! It officially on top of my list!