Origami project symbolizes wishes for a better world

December 11, 2009 at 1:54 pm Leave a comment


DANIELSVILLE – There’s a Japanese legend that promises a person who makes 1,000 paper origami cranes will have a wish granted by a crane – an animal that has supernatural powers in Japanese mythology.

Children in Madison County are working toward that 1,000-crane goal by the New Year and wish for world peace in 2010.

“This project is for everybody, but we decided to focus on children because, well, I would say the average child is for peace,” said Madison County Librarian Suzie DeGrasse. “When you get older, it gets all political.”

DeGrasse introduced the crane project to library patrons in October with hopes that the children who flood into the library each day after school would help create the flock of cranes.

She set out instructions and a stack of 8.5-inch square sheets of paper and offered to teach anyone interested in making a five-minute sculpture.

“I thought it would be fun for the kids, but it also gives them a big sense of accomplishment – first to have finished the crane and then also to contribute to such a large effort,” she said.

So far, children and a few adults have turned out about 200 of little paper birds.

Once kids are released from classes for the holidays, DeGrasse hopes the other 800 cranes will take shape quickly.

During the 20th century, paper cranes came to symbolize world peace because of the story of Sadako Sasaki, a young Japanese girl who was diagnosed with leukemia after the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima at the end of World War II.

While Sasaki was in the hospital, she started making paper cranes as a symbol of her hope for peace and encouraged other children in the hospital to do the same. Her story inspired the crane as a symbol of peace in Japan and across the world.

DeGrasse will string paper cranes into garlands through the end of the year – using both cranes created at the library and those brought from home, she said.

For directions on how to fold a paper crane, visit the Madison County Library in Danielsville.

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Entry filed under: 1.

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