The photos are cupcakes that we bought at a Japan Earthquake Charity Event at The Japanese Society in Singapore today. A friend of mine is a baking teacher and she baked and contributed the cupcakes with her friends - they baked more than 800 cupcakes for two days but they sold all today so they baked 750 again today for tomorrow. S$10 for 2 (or 3 for smaller( cup cakes, which will be donated to the Japan Earthquakes.
As you must all be doing, I have been glued to the news of the Japan Earthquakes, especially after our visitors (my husband's university friend and his wife) left us on Monday morning.
I think most of my friends are having similar emotions. After a relief that your families and your friends are all OK, you cannot help thinking of each person who was killed, lost their homes, lost their loved ones, of how they died and how they must be feeling if they survived. You feel sad, devastated, and helpless. Then you start feeling guilty that you are far away from your people and having a normal life, normal meals, a comfortable home.
As well as I myself being from Japan, my family and many of my friends and their families live there, and my husband also lived there for 12 years, so it was a big shock to both of us. We were in Kobe when the big Hanshin Earthquake happened 16 years ago and the two of us got off quite lightly - we lost almost all the glasses and dishes and many other personal belongings but, although our apartment (which wasn't our own anyway) was in a complete mess, there was no serious structural damage and we were both safe. However, my side of the family lost their home and almost everything that was in it. We ourselves cannot say went thorough a lot of hardship, but we lived in Kobe while it was struggling to get back on it's feet and have seen my parents struggle financially and otherwise. My husband used to have to use several different train lines to be able get to his office, walking in between the stations wearing walking boots and carrying a rucksack every day like everyone else did. Once the roads were somehow back, we would drive more than an hour to get to a supermarket to do our weekly shopping and then back. Nobody complained, we all got on with it. This time, the damage is even more severe and I deeply feel for them. However, at the same time, I believe in them.
I don't think there are many non-Japanese readers of my blog, but I would still ask just in case. I would appreciate it very much if you could make a donation to The Red Cross or some other responsible organisation for the recent Japan earthquakes. They really need it.
The victims from the Hanshin Earthquake, to my knowledge, did not get as much financial support as they should have. With such a significant number of people who needed help there wasn't enough money for them to get their normal life back. They got forgotten too quickly.
I understand that there are always people in need of help in this world and the victims of the recent earthquakes are not the only people, but I hope some of us including myself and my husband will not forget them and keep giving some support through the coming years.
Feeling guilty, helpless and sad is normal under the circumstances, but it doesn't help anybody. We should be doing what we can do to help those who need it.