San Francisco nonprofit Bridge Road International Foundation (BRIF) Saturday held a training workshop to help Americans and overseas Chinese write Chinese calligraphy to celebrate China's traditional Spring Festival.
Betty Yuan, co-chair of BRIF, said calligraphy can most represent Chinese culture, and the event that was held during China's traditional Spring Festival bears special meaning for the fans of traditional culture.
"Even those who don't know Chinese can also learn Chinese calligraphy because we have well-trained instructors to help them," she said.
Mike Godlewski, a designer with a U.S. design innovation company in San Francisco, told Xinhua that he has some friends from China's Taiwan and know somewhat about Chinese culture.
It is difficult to write Chinese calligraphy because it is complicated, but it is a beautiful way of communicating, he said.
"If you have the will and concentration, you can make some beautiful forms of writing," he added.
He said it was his first time to try Chinese calligraphy and he has a lot of room for improvement, but it is fascinating to try different styles.
Oroteo Pirtro, who came from Brazil and is now working as a consultant to help immigrants in the United States, said he had happened to see a poster of the event at San Francisco Public Library and dropped in to have a try of Chinese calligraphy.
"Writing calligraphy has a lot of fun, though I have some difficulty finding where to start first," he said.
He noted that he studied Chinese for some time two years ago, but he didn't have enough time later.
"I love Chinese culture and definitely want to come back to continue the study," he said.
The day-long training session also attracted many young overseas Chinese in the Bay Area.
Katherine Kuang, an eighth-grader in a middle school in San Leandro city in Alameda County, Northern California, said she started learning Chinese calligraphy when she attended a Chinese school a few years back.
"I know a little bit about Chinese culture, and Chinese calligraphy is something I'd like to try again, because it's a good way to express yourself," said the girl who was born in the United States.
"My parents were Chinese and it's amazing to learn Chinese culture," she said. "Chinese calligraphy helps you calm down if you feel distressed about something."
Kuang came to the workshop with her two classmates after they saw the event's poster at the library.
Dianna Zhao, a classmate of Kuang, said calligraphy looks simple but actually it is complicated.
"I just follow the steps on the paper and the board, and on the number that I start with," she said. "I was taking my time and not rushing it, careful with every stroke."
"Practicing calligraphy skills helps your life easier because you get to work how to be calm and have patience," she said.
Qingnian Tang, an artist from Los Angeles and an instructor at Saturday's training session, said many Americans have some knowledge about Chinese calligraphy and it's a big fun to have them try calligraphy themselves during the Spring Festival.
"I just taught them some tips about how to hold the brush correctly and write on the paper, and they could do a good job," he said. "Many American friends would like to write the Chinese character of 'love', but the character has many strokes and it is hard to write."
"Love is complicated," he joked.