The theme for the fourth Peace is… event was “Peace Is… Beautiful”, and Mr. Noritaka Noda of the New York Branch of the Ikenobo Society of Floral Art gave a lecture and a demonstration, explaining that he was expressing “the universe” in his flower arrangement.
Ambassador Koro Bessho and his spouse as well as Ambassador Yasuhisa Kawamura and his spouse, along with the Ambassadors of each ASEAN country (Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Myanmar, Thai, and Singapore) and their spouses, participated in part of the ikebana demonstration where they used flowers in the 4 colors of the ASEAN flag (red, blue, yellow, and white) to make one large flower arrangement.
There were also cultural performances by some of the ASEAN countries, including a Rondalla (an ensemble of guitar-like string instruments) performance by the Philippines, a traditional Khmer dance by Cambodia, a traditional New Year’s dance by Laos, a Merak (peacock) dance by Indonesia, and a Klui (traditional Thai flute) performance by Nontawat Chandrtri, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Thailand.
Additionally, five tables were set up at the venue where guests could take part in “ikebana workshops”, and each table was given a theme for the guests to use as an image for their flower arrangement. The themes were taken from the past four “Peace Is…” events (“Harmony”, “Homenaje”, “Unity”, and “Beautiful”) in addition to the theme of “Friendship” in celebration of the International Day of Friendship which was on July 30th,
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Bessho stated, “We are hopefully reminded that humans, regardless of religion, belief or ethnicity, can and must co-exist and prosper with the flowers that we share.” Following Ambassador Bessho’s remarks, Ambassador Locsin of the Philippines also said a few words as the Chair of ASEAN for 2017, saying that he hopes the friendship between ASEAN and Japan will be a driving force of multilateral diplomacy in the world.
Over 200 guests came to the event, and postcards where guests could write their messages of peace in their native languages were collected this time as well. Additionally, the 144 postcards collected from June’s event were affixed to a banner and displayed at this month’s event for guests to look at.
Photo Credit: Tokio Kuniyoshi