by Sothy Eng, Jamie Fujii, and Emma Castro
Special occasions are marked with the giving of flowers. Whether a bouquet of roses or an assortment of carnations, flowers help us express emotions of love, appreciation, and gratitude.
For this Valentine’s day, the Dept. of Family and Consumer Sciences will teach you how to make ikebana as gifts for your loved ones and our community members, through our Home Garden Network program. Children, adults, and anyone in between can learn how to use jars and flowers to create something unique and from the heart, helping bring together people and their interests of art skills being demonstrated and shared with loved ones.
The knowledge and resources for this event come from FCS interns themselves, their family backgrounds and customs learned from their parents. Our activity is made easy so the ikebana can be created in a mason jar or a plastic potter cup.
- UH Manoa Campus, Campus Center
- Saturday, February 13, 10:30 a.m. (each flower arrangement will take 10-30 min, depending on how complicated you would like to make)
- Please RSVP ASAP to Jamie Fujii or Emma Castro
* Through the workshop, participants will also have an opportunity to make one(s) for themselves and one(s) for a community organization that serves adults striving for mental wellness—Mental Health Kokua. The organization will deliver the flowers to their clients based on their safety protocols. HGN will provide flowers, jars, and other materials. Donations, of any type, that we can pass along to the organization and their clients are certainly welcome and appreciated. Brooke Fisher, HDFS student intern at the organization, said, “During these unsettling times, a small gift on Valentine’s Day can mean the world to someone who feels they have so little. On behalf of myself and Mental Health Kokua, mahalo for your support.”
What is Ikebana?
An ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arranging to highlight the inner beauty of flowers and ferns, and express emotion. Many flowers, leafs and ferns are used to decorate the arrangements. These plants can be easily found in your back yard. Many local farmers markets sell flowers that are either grown at a local farm or in their own back yards as well.
To me, flower arrangement is a fun way to provide families with inspiration to grow plants. But a lack of knowledge and materials or tools can be daunting. So we want to help families, get children engaged, create social interactions in addition to the flower arrangement itself, and ultimately, create a sense of community where people get together to do things with a purpose.
Jamie, HDFS intern, says, “We want to help create meaningful experiences for families. The ikebana activity on Valentine’s day is meant to connect culture, art, and gardening. These three aspects play an important role in the community, even if it’s as simple as making flower arrangements.”
Emma, HDFS intern, adds, “Through this flower arrangement activity, it can be clearly shown the meaning of plants used and the culture behind each part of the flowers being put together. Each part brought together represents their love for who they are making this arrangement for.”
Sothy Eng, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Human Development & Family Studies in CTAHR’s Dept. of Family & Consumer Sciences. Jamie and Emma are undergraduate student interns in HDFS.