We made lots of cranes, and tied them together to make a senbazuru. It is a traditional Japanese symbol of peace.
Every year we are blessed with the amazing young people from around the world coming to study at Roncalli College.
After the terror attack in Christchurch, the Japanese students, Mary-Jane Konings and I had talked about making cranes and teaching other Roncalli students how to make them. It was a pleasant surprise to discover on Sunday 7 April, during a social trip to Christchurch, that the girls’ had organised to make the cranes and wanted to gift them to the Mosque. As the girls have mentioned above, the Senbazuru (1000 cranes) is a Japanese symbol of peace. It has also become a symbol of hope and healing during challenging times.
While we were standing outside the Mosque deciding where to tie the Senbazuru to the fence, a gentleman from the Mosque came and spoke to us about how appreciative people were at the outpouring of love and care shown. We were invited into the Mosque with the girls’ gift and it was an emotional experience with an overwhelming sense of peace and love.
Momoka, Hinane, Mizuki, Ayano, Ayaka, Manami, Reika, Midori, Nene, Natsumi and Mizuki are special young people and it is a privilege to have them as students at Roncalli College.
The following is an account written by the girls:
We went to Christchurch on the seventh of April, with a group of Japanese girls and Cathy. We took Mizuki and Natsumi to the Christchurch homestay where they were to stay the night for their early flight home to Japan. While we were there, we did some shopping and visited the Al Noor Mosque.
Momoka, Hinane, Mizuki, Ayano, Ayaka, Manami, and Reika made cranes on Saturday, in the Timaru Library and Coffee Culture. Midori, Nene, Natsumi and Mizuki made cranes in their house. We made lots of cranes, and tied them together to make a senbazuru. It is a traditional Japanese symbol of peace.
When we went to the Mosque, we took the senbazuru with us. We saw lots of flowers and messages outside. A Muslim man came out of the Mosque and talked to us and then invited us inside. We felt special. The ladies inside the Mosque helped us put on hijabs and we listened to a prayer. We gave the senbazuru to the lady and she looked happy. We said we were from Japan and studying at Roncalli College in Timaru.
Momoka Kanai, Hinane Iha, Mizuki Igarashi, Ayano Shiroshima, Ayaka Nukasaka, Manami Saito, Reika Okada, Midori Hayashi, Nene Iwanami, Natsumi Sasaki & Mizuki Kusano