January 25, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year

It is Chinese New Year today - the year of the dependable bull. The new year weekend was kicked off by a Saturday seminar on Chinese Art that I taught at Walnut House in Bamberg. It was a grand lady’s day. My students were treated to lessons in Chinese calligraphy, Chinese Painting, and the delicate art of carving seals (or "chops" as they are sometimes called). My host, Julia Wolfe, and I decided to make this a truly fun experience for the students. For the bargain price of $65.00, they had not only art lessons all day on Saturday but a luncheon of salad, fruits and roasted chicken whipped up by the culinary expertise of Ms. Wolfe. The afternoon featured tea with my gourmet Oatmeal, chocolate chip, cherries in rum cookies.
Today was also a celebration of all things Chinese with a modest cultural exchange. I traded a Chinese calligraphy and language lesson for a lesson in the Wu style of Tai ji quan. The Tai ji instructor knows the Wu style quite well but never studied Chinese Language or Art. I had spent practically all my time in China studying language and visual art but none of those other enticing disciplines like marshal arts, music or the exotic culinary arts. In our old age both I and the Tai Ji instructor want to fill in some blanks in our Chinese education and because we can’t afford each other’s fees, simply decided to swap lessons. It has been fun and a great way to start off the China year.

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