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Club blossoms with seasonal festival

Sophomore psychology major Cory Campos, senior international business major Erica Lozano and sophomore computer science major Eldric Rabago inform students about Japanese traditions at the Cherry Blossom Festival on Tuesday in Sneaky Park. / photo by Ryan Gann

Sophomore psychology major Cory Campos, senior international business major Erica Lozano and sophomore computer science major Eldric Rabago inform students about Japanese traditions at the Cherry Blossom Festival on Tuesday in Sneaky Park. / photo by Ryan Gann

Christian Garay
Staff Writer

The Japanese Culture Club hosted its first Cherry Blossom Festival at Sneaky Park to celebrate the coming of spring and bring Japanese tradition to the University of La Verne Tuesday.

At the event, there was a variety of Japanese food, activities and tables run by members of the Japanese club.

Students could enjoy cherry blossom origami, candy, flowers and even competitions to win Japanese fans.

Bon Appétit served teriyaki chicken, sticky rice and Japanese meatballs as well as some Japanese pastries and fruit.

The Cherry Blossom Festival had many different things for students to do.

Club members had poster boards that had information about Japanese culture and the history of the festival.

JCC president Kimberly Navarro thinks activities like this will help students engage in cultural activities.

“Our inspiration is that it is so important in Japan and it takes place around the same time as the two year earthquake that happened March 11, 2011 in Fukushima, Japan,” Navarro, sophomore business major, said.

The JCC usually does a lot of activities inside its club but this is one of the first that involves the whole La Verne community’s participation.

Erika Lozano, co-founder and former president of the JCC, said she is happy about the Cherry Blossom Festival and how the club has taken off since it started two years ago.

“Basically it was a bunch of students wanting to share our passion for something we loved,” Lozano, senior international business major and Japanese minor, said. “We are getting people aware.”

During the festival there was Japanese music playing while students enjoyed a nice meal with information games and competitions.

“The food was pretty good and I liked the games but my favorite part had to be the cherry blossom origami,” said Johanna Jimenez, freshman psychology major.

“I didn’t think diversity was a big part of the school until now.”

Some of the members in the JCC were even dressed in traditional Japanese clothing while others had shirts from just the club.

Navarro said the JCC plans to make the cherry blossom festival an annual celebration for the University and its students as a way to welcome spring.

“During spring the Cherry Blossom Festival is very popular in Japan,” said Diana Duong, JCC vice president and freshman sociology major.

“We can’t go to the festival so bringing it here is the next best thing,” she said.

Christian Garay can be reached at christian.garay@laverne.edu.

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