Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Linda Day 3

TITLE: Helped fold 1000 cranes 02-11-10

Date: Feb 11, 2010

There is a Japanese legend that says anyone who can fold a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish (such as longevity). Of course it’s just a legend or story, but it holds great symbolism and cultural significance.

A Lunar New Year festival was taking place at my school, where several clubs held their own events. There were wish trees, dumplings, craft tables, and other things I missed due to class unfortunately. My club was in charge of folding cranes and teaching strangers how to fold them. Our goal was to make one thousand before the end of the event, so we could make a wish for the people in Haiti given their current devastation

When I got out of class at 1pm, I saw our club members huddled over a table of colourful cranes and origami paper scattered everywhere. So we folded, chatted, took pictures, and taught other people how to fold. The actual festival ended at 3pm, but we were only about half way towards our goal. That didn’t stop us though; when all the other club tables packed up, we moved our stuff to another area to continue. At one point, we ended up dragging a table into the hallway to work. By 7pm we had folded all of our paper, and all that was left was to string and hang them.

I honestly did not plan to stay past 3pm, but it was too hard to leave. I met some wonderful new people. Everyone was having fun, and it was the huge communal effort that made this goal actually possible to reach in a day. In theory, if each crane took one minute to fold, it would take almost 17 hours for a single person to make a thousand.

I taught about six or eight people how to fold, and their reactions were mostly “Oh cool, thanks” and “Yay!”

One member questioned if we were actually helping the people in Haiti with our cranes, and I agree that they certainly don’t help in the same way that actual medicine does. But the nice thing about this project is not just the hope we have for people, but the act of working together and helping each other whatever the task may be, whether we know each other or not.

Would I do it again? Yes if I had the time. I love origami.

Cost: Nothing on my part; the paper came from club funding I assume
Effort: Not much, but a little bit more effort when teaching because I wasn’t sure how to explain steps at first.

Time: 6 hours, from 1pm - 7pm

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