Among 50 calligraphers participating in the Spring Calligraphy Festival held in the Temple of Literature in Hanoi is a Frenchman who is the first foreign expat to take part in the fest as a calligrapher.
The man, named Jean Sébastien Grill, has learned Vietnamese for seven years.
With the love for Vietnamese culture, Grill has studied calligraphy from Vietnamese calligrapher Kieu Quoc Khanh. He even chose ‘Truong Giang’ as his Vietnamese name.
After several years of practice, he bravely joins the Spring Calligraphy Festival this year as a calligrapher with 49 Vietnamese ones, including his calligraphy tutor.
For him, taking part in the festival is a way to contribute to promoting Vietnamese culture to European tourists.
He wants to introduce a peaceful and developing Vietnam imbued with cultural identity to other foreigners.
On the opening day of the Spring Calligraphy Festival on Sunday, Grill wore ao the (a Vietnamese traditional outfit) and khan dong (a Vietnamese kind of turban) like other calligraphers.
The French scholar in ao the and khan dong writing Vietnamese calligraphy has attracted many visitors.
|Jean Sébastien Grill’s piece of calligraphy is displayed at an exhibition at the Spring Calligraphy Festival in Hanoi this year. Photo: T.Dieu / Tuoi Tre
Grill’s piece of calligraphy was also picked for display at an exhibition at the festival, together with 39 other pieces.
Besides the Frenchman, the Spring Calligraphy Festival this year has attracted many calligraphers nationwide, including women.
The Spring Calligraphy Festival opened on Sunday after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19.
The festival honors the art of writing. It is a local tradition to display calligraphic works during the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday to pray for good things to come in the new year.
Calligraphers write words that convey the meaning of prosperity, longevity, and happiness.
The fest is being held in the Van Lake area inside the Temple of Literature.
The festival also has a space to introduce products, such as do (poonah) paper, silk, lacquer, and ceramics, of Vietnamese traditional craft villages.
|A girl waits for an old calligrapher to give her a calligraphic work. Photo: T.Dieu / Tuoi Tre
Moreover, the festival has featured many folk games, traditional artistic programs, and an activity of releasing lanterns onto the Van Lake.
The event will last until January 29. On the last day of this lunar year, the festival will open until 2:00 am of the next day.
Meanwhile, on the first three days of the new lunar year, it will open until 10:00 pm.
|The Spring Calligraphy Festival features many eye-catching miniatures and booths of cultural products, which are attractive to visitors. Photo: T.Dieu / Tuoi Tre
|Two calligraphers perform at the Spring Calligraphy Festival this year. Photo: T.Dieu / Tuoi Tre