In Shangcheng District of Hangzhou, east China’s Zhejiang Province, retired individuals, mothers, and volunteers with disabilities come together to crochet exquisite flower bouquets known as the "Flower of Asian Friendship".
People in Shangcheng District of Hangzhou, east China’s Zhejiang Province, crochet birthday bouquets for the 19th Asian Games. (People’s Daily Online/Fang Pengyimeng)
Yang Jie, head of the mutual aid society in Shangcheng District, designed the bouquet. Named “Flower of Asian Friendship,” these handmade bouquets will play a special role during the 19th Asian Games, as every athlete celebrating their birthday in the Asian Games Village will be presented with one of these thoughtful creations.
According to Yang, the bouquet features a harmonious blend of five distinct flowers, each carrying a unique symbolic meaning: osmanthus fragrans represents the beauty of Hangzhou, cotton flowers symbolize everlasting care and concern, roses embody sincere love, plum blossoms stand for unwavering perseverance, and sunflowers convey triumphant victory.
Yang Jie holds a finished birthday bouquet for the Hangzhou Asian Games. (People’s Daily Online/Fang Pengyimeng)
“The Asian Games means a lot to Hangzhou in improving its international appearance, promoting its economy, and contributing to urban development. Our bouquets not only express our enthusiasm and wishes for the Asian Games, but also echo its slogan, ‘Heart to Heart, @ Future,’” Yang remarked.
The bouquets utilize crochet techniques, a traditional Chinese art form primarily used in clothing and shoemaking, which has evolved into a celebrated handcraft.
“The community center is a place where we make these bouquets. Retirees, mothers, and people with disabilities gather here to make bouquets. After several rounds of communication, refinement and sample making, we created this bouquet symbolizing Asian friendship,” said Yang.
Yang said that in the creation process, the participants with disabilities felt the joy of self-fulfillment. This endeavor provides them with more opportunities and possibilities to integrate into society.
In addition to symbolizing friendship and cultural exchanges between Asian countries, the handcrafted bouquet stands as a testament to the undeterred spirit of the artisans with disabilities, showcasing their courage and determination to pursue their dreams, said Yang.