Crowds Experience Lunar New Year Traditions with Representative Charng and Master Calligrapher Dr. Ho Yao-Chih at Canberra’s National Multicultural Festival
Canberra’s National Multicultural Festival is an annual event in Australia’s capital city, which tens of thousands of people attend to enjoy delicious foods, live performances, and cultural activities from around the world. The festival unites the community in a celebration and sharing of culturally diverse traditions, food, performances, and information displays.
The Education Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Australia (TECO) participated by setting up a Taiwan information stall at Canberra Civic Centre on February 16. It offered a selection of the latest pamphlets about studying, traveling, and working holidays in Taiwan, the scholarships offered by the Ministry of Education, and opportunities to learn Mandarin at one of the many Chinese language centers affiliated with Taiwan’s universities.
This year’s festival coincided with the Lunar New Year celebrations and hundreds of people queued up to receive a square piece of red paper with Chinese calligraphy written on it from Representative Elliott Charng. The calligraphy and their red color symbolize good fortune and happiness for the coming year, and these pieces of paper can be hung up on walls, doors or windows.
TECO invited master calligrapher Dr. Ho Yao-Chih from National Taiwan University of Arts to demonstrate calligraphy writing, one of the traditional art forms maintained in Taiwan. Dr. Ho has taught an intensive course in the School of Culture, History and Language at the Australian National University. He curated a display featuring his students’ artworks, and his students joined him at the Taiwan stall at the National Multicultural Festival.
As well as the calligraphy demonstrations, Ms. Julie Tsai, Mandarin teacher from the Taiwanese Association in Canberra demonstrated Chinese knot tying. This is an activity that appeals to people of all ages and audience members were encouraged to participate.
Photo:Master calligrapher Dr. Ho Yao-Chih from Taiwan (middle) with traditional lunar new year calligraphy.