Enjoying cherry blossom in Baku [PHOTO]
By Laman Ismayilova
The Japanese cherry blossom, or sakura, has long been adored by people across the world. Thousands travel to Japan to view the wondrous spectacle of these white or pink flowers blooming en masse and blanketing the country in soft, colorful splendor.
For just a few weeks every spring, Japan celebrates an annual ritual known as hanami, a simple pleasure, namely stopping to view and appreciate the beautiful spring blossoms.
Admiring the springtime blooms is a bit of a national obsession common to also Azerbaijan. Here in Azerbaijan people are delighted by daffodils and snowdrops, but also a number of cherry trees – both imported Japanese and wild.
For those who enjoy the spring blooms, the Sakura Azerbaijan-Japan organized an event in the Baku Botanical Garden on April 14.
Entitled "The cherry blossom in Azerbaijan", the event was organized to honor the frothing beauty of the cherry blossom trees.
Organization’s chair Tarana Huseynova informed that the organization monitors the growth of Japanese cherry trees planted in the Botanical Garden back in 2008, and looks after these trees.
"Every year employers of the union observe the process of cherry trees cultivation in Azerbaijani environment and send the information to Japanese partners," she said, adding that during 10 years the trees have been looked after properly, so they grew up and bloomed well in Azerbaijani climate.
Huseynova said that these trees have already turned into a symbol of a friendship bridge between Azerbaijan and Japan.
The cherry trees were planted here upon the initiative of the Embassy of Japan in Baku. In addition, twenty cherry trees were planted in the garden of one of Shirvan region’s schools.
Saying that the organization aims to bring more Japanese cherry trees to Azerbaijan, Huseynova voiced hope for celebrating "hanami" together with Japans in Azerbaijan.
Apart from sakura, the Botanical garden in Baku has other kinds of trees, such as the Japanese medlar, pear and quince.
Azerbaijan and Japan have very strong political relations and successfully cooperate in scientific, cultural and industrial areas.
Japan was one of the first countries to support Azerbaijan's forward-looking oil strategy. A number of important projects are being implemented in Azerbaijan through the financial support of Japan, while very important infrastructure projects had already been commissioned in the country through Japanese government`s loans.
Last the year Baku hosted Japanese Culture Day, while an exhibition of Azerbaijani and Japanese artists entitled "Azerbaijan meets with Japan” took place in Berlin.
Moreover, Baku will host the Third Japanese Culture Festival aimed at bringing the two nations closer on April 22.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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