Against the backdrop of Washington D.C.’s blooming cherry blossoms, the Millennial Youth Foundation (MGY), also known as Taiwan Fun, hosted a unique cultural exchange event at the DAR Museum.

Cherry Blossom Princesses
Cherry Blossom Princesses Promote Cultural Exchange

Over 50 cherry blossom princesses, representing all 50 states, gathered to celebrate this treasured tradition and strengthen the longstanding friendship between the United States, Japan, and Taiwan. The event was graced by the presence of distinguished guests including Teresa Downs, Chair of the National Conference of State Societies (NCSS), and Akiko Kenne, founder of the Cherry Blossom Princess events.

The Cherry Blossom Princess program, established in 1948, fosters cultural exchange and recognizes young women for their exceptional achievements and contributions to society, setting itself apart from traditional beauty pageants. Each year, Japan also selects a Cherry Blossom Queen to participate in the Washington D.C. festivities.

This year’s event transcended mere cultural exchange. Taiwan’s 2024 Cherry Blossom Princess, Elizabeth Tang, accompanied by her father, David Tang, Principal of the Washington DC Taiwanese School (WDCTS), served as a cultural ambassador. They showcased the vibrant Taiwanese culture through handcrafted items, local delicacies, and unique souvenirs, offering the princesses a taste of Taiwan’s rich heritage.

Princess Tang also skillfully highlighted Taiwan’s diplomatic charm, fostering a deeper understanding of the country among the princesses. Many expressed a desire to visit Taiwan in the future, inspired by its strong female leadership, including President Tsai Ing-wen and Vice President-elect Hsiao Bi-khim.

Cherry Blossom Princesses
From DAR Museum to Delicious Delights: Unveiling Taiwan at Cherry Blossom Fest

The visit to the DAR Museum, a testament to history and a center for education and preservation, provided a unique setting for this event. Museum Director Heidi Campbell-Shoaf warmly welcomed the group and hosted a luncheon. Kevin Lukacs, Director of Exhibitions, led a curated tour and presented each princess with a commemorative coin.

This event served not only to celebrate the beauty of the cherry blossoms but also to amplify Taiwan’s soft power and solidify the enduring friendship between the United States, Japan, and Taiwan.