Monday, March 31, 2008

Cherry Blossom

I didn't write yesterday, true, but I did go to my class, so I practiced my writing anyway:) I know you don`t get to see it, but, as always, I didn't really write anything interesting enough to mention here. Does this mean that this blog hosts only my meaningful and interesting thoughts? I wish I could say so, but I have strong doubts on this matter.

After my English class, thanks to my teacher's helpful hints, I managed to go to see the National Cherry Blossom Festival that was inaugurated yesterday. It took a while to get there by bus, and the streets were so crowded, but it was completely worth it! The cherry trees are simply wonderful and the Mall looks completely different at this time of the year.

The Cherry Blossom Festival is somehow a Washingtonian version of the Japanese traditional celebration of the Cherry Blossom. In Japan, this particular variety of Cherry tree is called Sakura, and is in fact different from the regular cherry trees. The Sakura, in fact, is only an ornamental plant, therefore it does not produce any fruits in the summer. Towards the beginning of April, a Festival to celebrate the blooming of the Sakuras is celebrated: the Hanami festival, which are the origins of the Washington Cherry Blossom.

The festival being held after the Japanese culture is not a fortuitous fact. It has roots on the history of these cherry trees. As they put it in the official website: "The National Cherry Blossom Festival annually commemorates the 1912 gift to the city of Washington of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to enhance the growing friendship between the United States and Japan and celebrate the continued close relationship between our two peoples."

After checking out the Cherry Blossom Festival and having a look at it from the Jefferson Memorial, my friend Isia (from indonesia) and I decided to go to the movies and I finally got to see....Stop Loss. As I expected, the movie is strong and sad. It reminded me a lot Peirce`s previous movie, "Boys Don`t Cry" oth for the way it was shot and for the way it goes deep inside the human beings that are at the center of the story. I agree with the director when she says this is not a movie about the war, because it`s actually about the people that (try to) come back from it. However, I also agree with many critics that said this movie has a flavor of post-war movie...except that the war in Iraq is still going on. This post-war movie flavor is due to the criticism with which the war and the army are portrayed. I have to say it looks very brave to me to release a movie like this in times like these. I hope many people will try to watch it.


Emmanuele said...

I think that the Mall was a kind of heaven the previous saturday...ehehhe....i'd like to be there to see it..i don't know if here we have something similar to your Cherry Blossom festival...using here i mean here in Padua, because i think that in cities like San Remo (the "city of flowers") they have a blossom festival too! I'll try to check it...

adry mendes said...

That`s true...spring brings flowers, and flowers bring festivals :) However, these Sakura trees are very specific and it`s hard finding them outside Asia (they`re originally from northern India, I think, ut are easily found in China and Japan). Maybe you can send me some pics of Italian festivals and I can compare :) and write a post aout it :)
Thanks for always reading my blog and commenting on it :)

Emmanuele said...

You're welcome :P Well, the next time i'll find a blossom festival here, i'll send you some pics 4 sure.. :)