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Macedonia: Celebrating Sakura Becomes a Tradition

Sakura, the annual celebration of cherry blossoms through display of elements of Japanese culture, took place in Skopje, Macedonia, on April 25. The time slot was somewhat later in comparison to last year because the organizers did not want it to overlap with the Catholic and Orthodox Easter celebrations during the previous two weekends.

Origami workshop during the celebration of Sakura in Skopje, Macedonia. April 25, 2009. Photo by Irena Efremovska.

Origami workshop during the celebration of Sakura in Skopje, Macedonia. Photo: Irena Efremovska.

Following the tradition established last year, Bi announced [MKD] the event on her blog using a visually pleasing graphic, and several other bloggers, such as Volan and Razvigor, spread the word [MKD]. The editor of the front page of Blogeraj, Macedonia's top blogging platform, announced [MKD] the festivities also, re-using one of Volan's old photos. In addition to that, Agnes provided subtle introduction in her own way by publishing a poem entitled Sakura [MKD] several days earlier.

Kids performing karate kata during Sakura celebration in Skopje, Macedonia. April 25, 2009. Photo by Irena Efremovska.

Kids performing karate kata during Sakura celebration in Skopje, Macedonia. Photo: Irena Efremovska.

The program, organized by the Kendo-Iaidō Federation of Macedonia in cooperation with Samurai Dojo and supported by the City of Skopje, included performing martial arts katas and an origami workshop.

Bloggers who attended the festival mostly published photo-galleries or photo-essays. Volan, who uses his blogs to serve the public as unofficial chronicler, even apologized [MKD] for providing fewer photos than usual because he arrived a bit late at the scene.

Zoriv, another elderly blogger, published his Sakura photos as part of his report [MKD] on walkabout through Skopje center on a lazy Saturday, comparing local architectural and cultural features with foreign counterparts.

As announced on the Japan@Mk blog [MKD], Sakura celebrations will continue in the evening of April 30, with indoor activities in the CK Cultural Center, including Japanese music, haiku recitations, manga art exhibition, and anime movies projections.

Sakura participants leaving the scene. Photo by Irena Efremovska

Sakura participants leaving the scene. Photo: Irena Efremovska

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