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In the Focus

Third Annual Spring Couplet Calligraphy Festival brings good luck to all

Jan 17, 2019 Campus Life

With Chinese New Year just three weeks away, Southern University of Science and Technology welcomed several famous Chinese calligraphers on campus for the Third Annual Spring Festival Couplet Writing Festival. Such an event dovetails perfectly into the Laba Festival, regarded as the prelude to Chinese New Year.

Such an event is a key part of both campus culture and Chinese culture, with students and faculty members lining up for hours to make sure they could receive a hand-painted couplet. The three hour activity saw hundreds of pairs of Spring Festival couplets handed out to faculty members, students, staff and senior leaders. SUSTech University Council Vice Chairperson Li Fengliang and Li Jing, vice-chairman and secretary-general of the Shenzhen Calligraphers Association, joined other senior leaders in getting involved in this annual tradition. Director of the Office of Communications and Public Relations Zhang Ling presided over the activity, which was organized by his department, in conjunction with the Arts Center, the Humanities and Social Sciences Center and other key departments on campus, along with the Shenzhen Longgang Painting and Calligraphy Institute.

Li Fengliang said that the activity reflected SUSTech’s determination to enhance the artistic culture on campus, and she hoped that more students would consider other traditional forms of Chinese art at the upcoming Regional Culture Fair next semester. While SUSTech is a science and engineering university, it has always attached great importance to the development of its liberal arts curriculum and so activities like this enhance the campus culture while providing others with a opportunity to partake in traditional Chinese culture on campus.

More than a dozen famous calligraphers were invited to write couplets for attendees. Those receiving Spring Festival couplets will paste them around their front doors, as a traditional customs during the Chinese New Year. There was also a writing desk for teachers and students to write their own couplets, allowing everyone to appreciate the fun and charm of traditional Chinese culture.

Li Jing said that the calligraphers came to the campus with the aim of sending their New Year blessings to the faculty members and students of SUSTech in the most traditional form. He also hoped that SUSTech’s international faculty and students would adopt this traditional art and find their own unique way to experience it.

Li Fengliang, Li Jing and student representatives started the activity. The vice-chairmen of the Shenzhen Calligrapher Association and other famous calligraphers wrote Spring Festival couplets which brought warmth to the campus in the lead-up to Spring Festival.

Many people requested the character “Fu” (福), which means happiness and good fortune. By pasting it upside down on their front door, it is polite to tell people that their “fu” is upside down, as it suggests that good fortune and happiness will come into their home in the future.

Doctoral student Jiang Zhan professed to being a calligraphy enthusiast and in his excitement arrived early to collect the Spring Festival couplets. He hoped that the school would carry out more such activities in the future. One of SUSTech’s foreign researchers, Ryan, admitted that he didn't know much about the art of calligraphy, but this gave him the opportunity to get a better understanding of Chinese traditional culture.

Text: Tong Xiaojin

Translated and Adapted: Chris Edwards

Proofread: Rachel Wu

Photos: Su Jiahui, Wang Kaiqiang

Banner Picture: Qiu Yan

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