Soka Gakkai Malaysia Boys and Girls Stage "Cherry Tree the Musical" in Selangor State
On July 22, 28 and 29, 2007, Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM) Selangor Branch hosted "Cherry Tree the Musical" performed by 200 boys and girls at the SGM Selangor Culture Centre in Klang. Around 2,700 attended, including friends and family, as well as Selangor State Executive Councillor Kamala Ganapathy, Klang Municipal Council President Tuan Mislan bin Tugiu, Prime Minister's Office Head of Security B. K. Tan, Klang Municipal Councillor Gan Yeew Tian and media representatives.
Based on The Cherry Tree, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's book for children, the musical tells the story of two siblings who lost their father in an air raid. During an outing, the children meet an elderly, warm-hearted man caring for a dying cherry tree. Together they nurture the tree back to health, enabling it to bloom again in the wake of wartime devastation.
Councillor Gan said he was touched by the children's efforts and inspired by the musical's message that as long one holds onto hope and does not give up, every hardship can be overcome.
SGM men's, women's and youth members worked together to support the boys and girls to produce the musical, including building and creating the sets, props and costumes. The voices of the young performers touched the hearts of the audience as they passionately imparted a message of hope and peace through their acting, singing and dancing. The musical supported the SGM Soka Cultural and Education Fund, which aims to cultivate love for the arts and culture. The event was covered by the English daily The Star, the Chinese Sin Chew Daily and in an English news program on Astro Television.
[Adapted from a July 7, 2007 SGM report and an article in the August 18, 2007 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan. Photos provided by SGM]