Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Cherry Blossoms


Cherry blossoms have long been identified with Japan, where viewing the short-lived blooms is an enduringly popular pastime to herald the arrival of spring.
But South Korean media have claimed that the country is actually the flower’s origin – at times provoking prickly reactions in Japan.
Now according to the Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis Daily on March 30, 2015, He Zongru, executive chairperson of the China Cherry Industry Association is saying both countries are wrong. He is insisting that China is the blossom’s true birthplace.
He cited a Japanese monograph on cherry blossoms which stated that the flower originated in the Himalayan mountains of China and did not arrive in Japan until the Tang dynasty more than 1,100 years ago.
It may sound frivolous but this incident is by no means unusual.
Malaysia unsettled Indonesia when the former laid claims on cultural icons from Indonesia – wayang kulit (shadow puppets), batik and sate, just to name a couple.

Sate. 2012 Liza W. Widjaja
Likewise, both Malaysia and Singapore have claimed ownership of popular dishes such as the Hainanese Chicken Rice, Chili Crabs and Laksa.
Hainanese chicken rice. Image credit: http://steamykitchen.com/5068-hainanese-chicken-rice.html


On Saturday afternoon, I attended the OUM Toastmasters meeting. Two speakers withdrew and I secured one of the speaking slots. I delivered an impromptu speech – a CC #6 speech titled "Creepy Creatures"  the speech title itself was given by that day's General Evaluator, Zahir Ahmad.


It was a challenge actually but I met it head-on. [Thumbs up]. Generally, a decent meeting and I would score it a 6 over 10. 


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