Largest calligraphy lesson-world record set
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- President Ma Ying-jeou joined
12,902 citizens, aged from three to 93 in
a calligraphy lesson of the 5th Chinese Character Festival-setting
the world record for the Largest
Photo: A Taiwanese girl writes traditional
Chinese calligraphy with a hair pencil during the 5th Chinese
Character Festival, in Taipei, Taiwan. AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying
Led by Ma and 15 other political, cultural
and educational leaders, who each wrote a character that produced
the couplet“ Genesis of strokes shed grace on the people;
Culture and legacy of character spread across oceans,”12,902
citizens gathered at the Huashan Cultural and Creative Park
Thursday to practice calligraphy.
"This is really a touching moment, as
over 10,000 people writing at the same time one of the most
ancient written languages in human history -- traditional
Chinese characters,”Ma said.
He said only by being able to read traditional
Chinese characters can one appreciate Chinese ancient books,
scriptures and culture. Urging all Chinese to learn to read
traditional Chinese characters, Ma went as far as saying that
by doing so, differences between mainland China and Taiwan
can be also be reduced.
The event was brought to its highlight when
93-year-old Chao Chia-li and 3-year-old Cheng Pei-chieh, both
celebrated their birthdays on Jan. 1. They received from Ma
on behalf of all participants "wisdom brushes" and the "Chinese
Characters Promoters" certificates.
President Ma Ying-jeou wrote the Chinese character
for "safe", "hoping it would bring safety to the country and
people while stabilising the mind of people", the official
"Chaos" was picked last month by the Taiwanese
as the character for 2008 after a turbulent year marred by
high-profile corruption scandals implicating former president
Chen Shui-bian and top officials.
Among the 61,600 people who took part in a telephone
poll, nearly 8,000 voted for the Chinese character "luan"
(chaos), followed by "pian" (lie) and "tsang" (miserable),
said the United Daily News, a co-organiser of the survey.
Also on the list of the top 10 annual characters
were "corrupt", "depressed" and "love" - the only positive
character to make the list.
Witnessed by a lawyer, the event successfully
set a world record as the largest calligraphy lesson to celebrate
the Chinese legacy of calligraphy and signify a blessing for
Taiwan in the New Year.
Among the 12,000 participants, Chen-Yeh
A-mei drew much attention because although she is illiterate,
the 98-year-old still took part in practicing calligraphy
to give blessing to the country and the next generation. Her
4 year-old American-born great grandson also joined her at
the event, symbolizing cultural inheritance.
The Chinese Character Festival, which was initiated
when Ma was Taipei mayor in 2005, is the first festival in
the world dedicated to the promotion and celebration of Chinese
Other weighty representatives and celebrities
who joined the calligraphy lesson led by Ma included Legislative
Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng, Taipei City Mayor Hau Lung-bin,
Council of Cultural Affairs Minister Huang Pi-twan, Dharma
Drum Mountain Master Kuo Tung, pop music songwriter Fang Wen-shan.
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Thursday, January 1, 2009