Sunday, May 24, 2009

Emotional Graduation or Emotional Consumption

I am sure most, if not all of us have attended a graduation before. So try and recall that feeling you had walking into yours or a close friend’s graduation ceremony. Did you get really emotional seeing all the people and the excitement around you? As if you are overwhelmed with emotions and can not hold it in for long? Yup that’s the feeling I experienced today…but it wasn’t really for the ceremony itself. It was actually from the money I had to spend on flowers. Having to buy flowers and leis for graduation is expensive but of course I couldn’t help it! I am so used to graduation being an event filled with flower of all kinds. Let’s just say that I spend all the money I saved from not spending on money on random things in the last four weeks on flowers instead.

The consumer culture of buying flower and flower leis for graduation has become a norm. So normal and important in the US that news of flower scarcity to make leis makes the news! Here is a link where you can go read about more about it if you want Leis on the News.

According ABC news, there is a scarcity in flower this year to make leis for graduation. Apparently, shop owners who would order 4,000 flowers would only get 600. I guess this would confirm why I couldn’t find Dendrobiuhm orchid blossoms at Raley’s or Lucky’s. I figure instead of buying the already-made leis for 22 at Raley’s, I could buy the flower on the stem and string them myself. However, there were none! At all. I mean sellers are smart! They take away all the flowers and make the leis and then charge hecka for them. So what did I do?

Or course I didn’t buy them at first; I made my own lei, out of other materials!

Now during this process, I experienced what Kawamura meant by “Production influence consumption and consumption influence production.”(pg89). Without graduation and the need or I shall I say want for flowers leis there wouldn’t people producing them. So I guess it’s my problem for trying so hard to fine them. This proves that controlling consumption is not easy and for that reason I am emotionally overwhelmed. I spent 12 at first buying materials to make leis. Then I get to graduation then realized I forgot to make leis for 3 people. So what did I do? I went outside of UC Berkeley’s Greek Theater and bought 3 flower leis from students for 25 dollars each! Um…this is why I spent so much, it’s because I always feel buying things one person and not the other.

Here are the candy leis I made and the people I made them for! Its hard to see but at least you can see how many flower leis people buy during graduation.

Congrats Class of 2009!

Phung Kim Vo

Blog #4

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