The South Asia Region was given representation on World Bonsai Friendship Federation, after formation of Bonsai Friendship Federation of India in early 1988 with eleven pioneers from all five zones of India. Devoted efforts were made at popularising and introducing Bonsai as an art across the length and breadth of India. They unanimously made me founder chairman emeritus of BFFI.
Subsequently, the undersigned was initially appointed as India Region Agent of WBFF. Then prior to 1st World Bonsai Convention held at Omiya in 1989, he was invited to join the board of World Bonsai Friendship Federation with the blessing of Mr John Naka, Mr Saburo Kato and Mr Ted Tsukiyama.
As co-founder and Director of Bonsai Study Group of The Indo-Japanese Association, Mumbai, India, I undertook the lead in organizing many bonsai events from 1979 till today. A number of expert friends and teachers from USA, Japan, U.K, Taiwan, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Viet Nam were invited. The list included John Naka, Chase Rosade, Robert Kempinski, Pedro Morales, Solita Tafur Rosade, Walter Liew from USA; Tom Yamamoto, Mr Susumu Nakamura, Mrs Naemi Iwaski, Mr Koji Hiramatsu, Mr Mitsuo Matsuda from Japan; Mr Budi Sulistyo, Mr Robert Steven, Mrs Sue Aziz, Mr Abdul Karim Lutfi, Mr. Yayat Hidayat from Indonesia; Mr Revat Wong Kasem from Thailand; Mr. Peter Chan from the UK; Mr Zhao Qingquan, Ms Chen Wen Juan from People’s Republic of China; Mr Min Hsuan Lo, Mr Chiang, Mr Shiu, Mr Ho, Mr Yu In, Mr Albert Chang, Mr Chien Chang Liu from Taiwan; MrBoh Twang Keng from Singapore and M. Lindsay Bebb, Mrs Glenis Bebb and Mr Tony Bebb from Australia.
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The Bonsai Study Group of the Indo-Japanese Association with its range of activities were requested to grant Chapter Affiliation to as many as 23 clubs, groups, associations and societies across India to share knowledge among interested people and help plan regular workshops and demonstrations. Subsequently, many clubs and societies invited experts from Indonesia, China, Japan, USA, UK, Belgium, Vietnam and other countries.
The South Asia Region Director and Mrs Jyoti Parekh as International Consultant has been actively attending International events planned by BCI, ASPAC, and WBFF and regularly takes groups of Indians around the world since 1982. Publicity of International and Indian Bonsai events are promoted in NICHIN BONSAI, a quarterly magazine published regularly since 1985. The publication also invites articles from International as well as Indian experts to share the success or failure on the subject of Bonsai, horticulture and techniques. Indian hobbyists are invited to give question and answers on new plants, newer products etc. Local manufacture of ceramic containers, wire, additives and nursery grown potensai material within India is promoted. Hobbyists across India are requested to have frequent group activities rather than individual or personal level bonsai art development. Bonsai hobbyists are requested to protect trees and greenery by encouraging village level nursery growers across India and avoid using YAMADORI material for the simple reason of protecting our environment.
In all there are roughly 500 serious bonsai art followers with another 10,000 to 12,000 casual bonsai hobbyists in India. Nearly 40 devoted teachers share knowledge of this art. Efforts are made to regularly introduce bonsai as a hobby to school and college students by way of TV shows, Exhibitions and through print media. Many reputed teachers have authored books on Tropical Bonsai, Advanced Bonsai Techniques and introducing Saikei, Suihan Penjing - miniature water and land arrangements with stones and trees. In recent years viewing stones/Suiseki appreciation has been introduced as an allied art in India. Indian Talents are invited to show their skills or share the newer techniques or achievements through NICHIN BONSAI magazine.
Suihan Penjing with Brya ebenus trees and sandstone rocks