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A Story Of Kindness And Creativity

Nikita Minocha

Used for a variety of functions, holidays, and personal occasions, flowers have been representing many symbols from time immemorial. Red roses tend to evoke a sense of love or beauty, while daisies symbolize innocence. Flowers also provide inspiration for several poems, paintings, fashion, and much more. They embody peace and beauty of the natural habitat. As I lead into a compelling story, flowers have once again shown their importance by being used for a great cause.

Minal Akkad is the President of Ikebana International Boston Chapter. Ikebana, the art of flower arrangement, is the most well-known and practiced Japanese traditional art. It is still as important in the modern art world, despite originating hundreds of years ago. It brings meaning and adds feelings to a flower arrangement, conveying a message, rather than just being a floral collection.  This art developed from a Buddhist ritual; many styles have evolved that can now be appreciated by the common individual. As explained by Ikebana International, “It is more than simply putting flowers in a container. It is a disciplined art form in which the arrangement is a living thing where nature and humanity are brought together. It is steeped in the philosophy of developing a closeness with nature.”

Minal Akkad is an accredited flower show judge. She participates in the New England Flower Show each year and is a regular blue ribbon winner. Her beautiful designs are shown at ‘Floral in Winter’ at both the Worcester Art Museum and Tower Hill locations. Minal has been very thoughtfully making floral arrangements for Ekal Vidyalaya’s Power of Education events and recently described the one from this year’s event on March 12th, 2016.

“This is the fourth year that I have been doing flowers for Ekal. Each year it is a different one but I try to use the same colors as the Logo which is orange, blue and white. The plant materials I used this year were orange tulips, blue thistle, white baby's breath, green tea roses and curly willow with the new leaves showing its appearance.

The orange tulips indicates the strength and courage of Ekal to take this huge project of education in rural India. The white indicates the softness, peace truthfulness and dedication of all the volunteers. The green tea roses indicates that Ekal will keep on growing by adopting more and more villages. The blue thistle which has spikes on the edge indicates that even though there are hardships to achieve this goal we will continue it and not give up. No project can grow without hardships. And last but not the least the curly willow with its new leaves appearing indicates that the young generation will continue with the project because the elders has laid the foundation. So EKAL all the best!!”

Ekal Vidyalaya has done phenomenal work for the past 25 years and continues to bring education to children in rural India. The Ekal team is touched by Minal Akkad’s kind gesture; she crafted the flower arrangements, placed so much thought, and contributed to the noble cause! Thank you Minal ji for using your art to spread creativity and better the community. We look forward to your next creation.

Visit http://ikebanaboston.org/about.php for more information on Ikebana Boston Chapter

Visit www.ekal.org for more information on Ekal Vidyalaya.

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