Author: YU Cun |
Foreign students and employees of Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics (CIOMP) were invited to take part in a Chinese calligraphy writing activity to create their own decorations for the coming Spring Festival on Jan. 25, which is the Minor Spring Festival on Chinese lunar calendar.
Minor Spring Festival, also known as "Stove God Festival", falls on Dec. 23 of the lunar calendar, and marks the beginning of a busy period of Spring Festival preparations, which include purchasing food, decorating the home, as well as household and personal cleansing.
One of the most important preparations is the custom of pasting Spring Festival couplets and the "Fu" character, which means auspiciousness and happiness, on doors. Nowadays, most people choose to buy these decorations ready-made from shops. However, the more traditional families still prefer to write their own, a perfect chance to show-off their calligraphy skills.
Tuesday’s calligraphy class was jointly organized by the International Cooperation Department (ICD) and the Retirement Center. Mr. YAO Changqing, a calligraphy teacher who teaches CIOMP retirees, was invited to instruct the foreign employees and students, so they could get involved in preparing for the coming Spring Festival, learn about Chinese "Fu" culture, experience traditional and local customs, and feel the warmth of the Changguang family.
At the beginning of the event, Ms. WANG Hui, Deputy Director of ICD, briefly introduced the origin of "Minor Spring Festival" and traditional Spring Festival customs. Then Mr. YAO Changqing introduced the "Fu" culture and demonstrated the "Fu" character in various Chinese writing styles, including the regular script, running script, official script, seal script and cursive script.
All the foreign employees and students were impressed and eager to pick up ink brushes try calligraphy. With help and guidance from Mr. Yao, they all successfully created their very own personal “Fu” decorations. At the end of the activity, Mr. YAO wrote one set of Chinese New Year couplets for each foreign friend.
The foreign workers and students all said they really enjoyed cultural activities like this, which helped them understand and appreciate Chinese culture better, and would like more such events. They also thanked CIOMP for showing them warmth and blessings, saying it helps them integrate into the Changguang family and deepen their understanding of the Changguang spirit. In addition, they hoped that they could have the opportunity to learn Chinese in order to achieve better communication.
The calligraphy activity is another traditional cultural activity ICD held for foreign faculty, staff and students after "dumpling making" and "moon cake making". It is hoped that by holding such activities, foreign workers and students can get an immersive experience of the Chinese culture, improve team cohesion and deepen friendship.