Where's the time for ikebana?

Where's the time for ikebana?


Where's the time for ikebana?

Long days at work and hectic schedules leave youngsters with little time to pursue a hobby. Even when it comes to a hobby like ikebana, the Japanese flower arrangement which is considered a stress-buster, there are very few youngsters interested in it.

Metrolife talks to some experts in the field about why the popular art form is mainly of interest to the older folk. They rue that few stick to the art and master it.

Namitha Suresh, director of the Sogetsu School of Ikebana who has been teaching the art for the last 25 years, feels that there is a lack of awareness about the art form among today’s youngsters.

“When we were growing up, there were hardly any distractions. It was a common hobby that could be pursued along with music and dance. But the problem nowadays is that few people have the time to pursue any hobby. Many don’t even know about ikebana,” she explains and adds, “I’ve been wondering why in a City like Bangalore which has good weather and a large variety of flowers, people don’t take it up seriously.”

In an effort to create an awareness about ikebana, Namitha along with the committee members plans to go to schools and colleges in the coming academic year.
Vivek V Rao, president of the Ikenobo School, points out that his youngest student is 35 years old and the oldest is over 65.

“Ikebana is not something that can be learnt in a jiffy. An eye for detail and a lot of practice are required. It also requires some amount of maturity, which comes by the age of 30,” he says. The hobby, which requires a lot of time and patience, is also a good stress-buster. “One has a lot of occupational stress these days and doing an arrangement is a good form of relaxation as it gives one a peace of mind. But sadly, no one has the time to appreciate art,” he rues.

According to Bhargavi Satyan, who has been into ikebana for the last 40 years, even the ones who show interest and sign up for classes are unable to stick to the hobby for long. “They take up short-term courses, learn and forget. They have to realise that it takes years of practice and doesn’t come at the first go. Only after a lot of practice can an artist come to understand the colour combinations and preferred materials,” she explains.

Leela Venkatadri says that it’s all about making time for the hobby. “Even though I used to work, I used to take time out to attend classes. I had signed up for a three-year course and even taken special permission from office to attend the weekly class. It might have been hectic but it was worth it. Today, people are not willing to go the extra mile,” she says.