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This year, the cherry blossom festival is a time of reflection

The Brooklyn Paper
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The Japanese earthquake makes this year’s cherry blossom festival about more than pretty trees.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s 30th annual Japanese culture festival will be the prime time to reflect on the tragic events that left thousands dead and even more displaced. To that end, the Garden will have a moment of silence this Saturday at noon, led by Garden President Scot Medbury.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to make an origami crane that will eventually join thousands of others sent to Japan as a gesture of support and unity.

“It’s a traditional gesture of support and strength,” said Kate Blumm, communications manager at the Garden. “Hopefully, we will have many, many cranes by the time the festival is over.”

The cherry blossoms themselves may also serve as an apt metaphor for visitors coming to revel in their beauty.

“You can enjoy the cherry blossoms, their transient beauty, and reflect upon how beautiful life can be, too,” said Merle Okada, a member of Soh Daiko, a drumming group that will be performing during the festival. “It’s an annual celebration of the short and brief beauty of our lives. That’s cherry blossoms.”

Cherry blossom festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden [1000 Washington Ave. at Crown Street in Crown Heights, (718) 623-7200], April 30 and May 1 from 10 am to 6 pm. For info, visit www.bbg.org.

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