The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

Cherry Blossom Festival blooms bright

The Cherry Blossom Festival, held after school in the quad on Wednesday, May 22, highlighted many different aspects of Japanese culture, from food to music and dance.

The pink and white cherry blossoms billowed in the light breeze as students and teachers gathered after school in the quad on Wednesday, May 22 for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival.

Organized by the Japanese program and community at the high school, the festival featured a variety of Japanese games, food, art and performances by students and Japanese language classes as a way to celebrate Japanese culture.

Japanese teacher Fukiko Shapiro said the festival helps to bring the students learning the language together while also serving as a way for native students to embrace their culture.

“For the people who are taking Japanese—students—we can do together more building up the community as a Japanese program,” Shapiro said. “Also, there are a lot of Japanese native people, native students. So they are also included and can more appreciate their own culture.”

The cherry blossom is an important symbol in Japanese culture, and the festival is typically celebrated in the spring. Sophomore Erica Hou said the festival can teach attendees about the significance of the cherry blossom while they enjoy a variety of games and activities.

“The culture really values flowers and going in the spring to see cherry blossoms. Basically, this is an activity to share that culture and to have people have fun as well and understand Japanese culture a little more,” Hou said.

Junior Serina Ohyama is part of the Japanese IV class that performed at the festival, and she said the festival gives everyone the opportunity to experience Japanese culture.

“There’s a lot of activities that you don’t typically see around Brookline unless you’re Japanese. So it’s a nice way, if you’re not Japanese, to be able to be part of it,” Ohyama said.

Ohyama also said the festival teaches the community more about the prominent Japanese culture that exists in Brookline.

“I think it definitely helps enrich the community, because there’s a big Japanese population and community in Brookline, so it’s a nice way to get to know a lot of people in the Brookline community and just get to learn about the Japanese culture,” Ohyama said.

Overall, Shapiro said it is imperative to celebrate and acknowledge the diverse Japanese community because it can encourage cultural pride among students.

“It’s important to appreciate different cultural diversity, and Japanese people [are] still a minority in BHS, but they look so happy to be more proud of their own culture,” Shapiro said. “So I think that’s very important.”

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