What is Sakurabana? I know I'm often mentioning them in my blog, but they are not just some NGO that holds a festival two times a year, they are so much more. For me they have a special meaning and special place in my life.
Sakurabana is NGO that promotes Japanese pop culture, it was created from group of enthusiast, young people who had nothing more than love for Japanese pop culture and a dream, connected trough newly arrived wonder of modern technology - internet. Ok, in this point I can do a PR for them - but I won't. If you want to know more about Sakurabana just watch this video (and if you are not Serbian native speaker make sure to turn on the English subtitles):
Now, as you all know earlier this year my country was devastated with sever floods, and we are still struggling with consequences, at that time Sakurabana did the best they could with gathering money and provisions for people affected with floods. Most of our government resources are transferred for rebuilding what was destroyed, and that's how it suppose to be. But, at the same time that is where Sakurabana's problems start.
These young people don't sit and lament, they don't throw "angry fist" at government for rebuilding a country. They have a dream and they working towards it. So what did they do? They started a project to raise a money for Culture Center Sakurabana. More about the project you can see on this video(this one is in English):
You can help them just by spreading the word (in that case please use
#CCSakurabana hastag) or by donating to their Indiegogo account (there are many great perks like Mistiqarts beautifuly works or some #OriSor stuff for cosplay lovers) : www.indiegogo.com/projects/cul…; .
I do want tell you what Sakurabana means to me and why. In this point you may stop reading if you are not interested, but then again you can go on and learn some more about Sakurabana and what they mean to people and specially kids who are just like me.
I had a luck in my life, I meet a friend who was half Japanese when I was a kid, so somewhere in 80's, and that's how I fell in love with Japanese culture - traditional but also popular. Now if you have interest in opther county culture, traditional one - people can understand that, even appreciate. But!, if you like popular culture which is totally unknown in your country...well, that's a whole different story. People perceive you as weird.
I was one of those weird, geeky kids. In time I learned to function in society by giving a "socially accepted" answers to most basic questions like: "What is your favorite band?" or "What is your favorite actor?" - truth is I had friends but I was feeling alone. Like wearing a mask all the time, not able to really connect to people and not having anyone to shear my interests with, always on a lookout for slip of a tongue that may lead to being ridiculed or bullied.
When I meet people from Sakurabana I found my little peace of heaven. I had topics with them that I could discuss, we shared same interests. When you live your life in fear of being rejected for your interests, that doesn't help you with self-confidence - trust me on that one!!! People from Sakurabana where the ones who encouraged me to start promoting my handcraft, first of all Mina Mistiqarts a wery talented young lady.
And even now, when problems of everyday life pile up on me I go to Sakurabana - place where I can be myself. Just for a little chit-chat about my favorite music band or some new movie/drama. But Sakurabana is not some club we gather for a cup of chit-chat, they have so many educational activities like manga school, lectures and workshops.
Okay this is enough for today, but I'll be telling you more about fundraising projects and Sakurabana activities in near future.