July 2011 marked the start of Xi’an being the world’s capital in learning Chinese calligraphy. Since that time, more than 300 foreigners have enrolled themselves in Chinese calligraphy courses offered in the Beilin Museum which has the largest collection of ancient Chinese stone tablets in the world. This is according to Wu Rachang, the museum’s calligrapher.
Wu says that more and more foreigners like to learn Chinese calligraphy because they feel proud of knowing this ancient and artistic form of writing. Most of the students enrolled from the United States are high flyers such as Wall Street bankers, CEO’s of big corporations, elites, doctors, lawyers and scholars.
One of the students, Dr. Jeol Kellman from the US, has visited China over 10 times but it is just now that he enrolled in a Chinese calligraphy class. Dr. Kellman says that he loves the Chinese culture and calligraphy very much and he is very happy that he already knows how to write such beautiful words by the use of a brush.
In addition to many adults learning calligraphy, they also tag along their children to learn the art as well. The 10 year old son of the well known Carter family from Harvard is very proud that he learned how to write Chinese characters after an hour of practice and lessons. The little boy actually said that he enjoyed the activity very much and that he wants to go back to China for more calligraphy when he grows older.
Wu said that foreigners are so amazed with the origin of Chinese calligraphy. Furthermore, the characters are mysterious and the pictographs are fascinating most especially inscriptions on oracle-bone, seal scripts and ancient bronze objects.
Wu carefully selects the words to teach in class. He often uses characters from ancient hieroglyphic words that describe the Chinese culture. This way, students will learn about Chinese calligraphy and culture at the same time.
Tourists won’t have a hard time in organizing this trip because the edu-tourism package is already organized by WildChina, a travel company in Beijing. They started in the year 2000 by a man named Zhang Mei who has a Harvard MBA.
Cultural interaction is the basis of all transactions at WildChina. The company encourages people to engage and experience the Chinese culture. And for them, the best way to encourage this is by taking classes at Xi’an for calligraphy. The place is considered as one of the 50 must-visit places in China because it houses more than 1,000 authentic memorial tablets dating back to 24 AD.