Origami Workshop at the 2015 Secondary Students Symposium

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By Mui-Ling Teh

Mui-Ling Teh

As part of Asian Heritage Month, a number of workshops was held for the 2015 Secondary Students Symposium on May 7, 2015. This year, the symposium took place at Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute; where I was invited to teach origami to secondary students of the Toronto District School Board.

It was the second time I was asked to be an origami workshop presenter this year (my first time was in February at MUJI CANADA). The opportunity came up as a result of meeting Dr. Gary Rubenstein at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Center during the spring festival in March. Dr. Rubenstein was highly involved in organizing events within Asian Heritage Month for the TDSB. He was already scheduled to run an origami workshop for the Secondary Students Symposium, and when he saw my miniature origami works, he was very impressed and invited me to be a co-presenter for his workshop. For the workshop, Dr. Rubenstein planned to teach the students how to fold birds, and I decided to teach them how to fold cherry blossoms. So we named our workshop “The Birds and the Blossoms: An Origami Workshop”.

The Symposium held a number of workshops throughout the day relating to Asian culture. Only selected students from different schools were invited to attend these workshops. So while they were young, they have proven to be mature and enthusiastic participants. But not only were they very well-behaved; but they showed a great level of interest and appreciation in the work I did as I showed them my miniature origami. Overall the event was very successful, and I was invited to work with TDSB again for the South Asian Festival at Stephen Leacock Collegiate Institute on June 6; where I will once again be a workshop presenter, and also have a booth.

The day of the symposium also happened to be during the cherry blossom season in Toronto. In Japan, the cherry blossom season begins in April, and is symbolic of new beginnings. For this reason, students in Japan begin school in April. For the students of TDSB, they will soon finish the school year in June. Many of the students I met during the workshop were in their final year of high school, meaning they will be graduating and beginning new journeys.

To the students of TDSB, I wish you all a bright future.

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