Calligraphy key to cultural preservation, says Chinese Counselor

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By Sarafina Christopher

Mr Li Xuda, Cultural Counselor of the Chinese Embassy has highlighted the need to focus on traditional art forms like calligraphy in preserving cultural heritage of nations.

He noted that in a world increasingly dominated by digital communication, traditional art forms like calligraphy are emerging as vital tools that should be explored.

Li, also the Director of the China Cultural Centre in Nigeria, said this at the “Lanting Collection: Unveiling China-Nigeria Friendship Through Calligraphy” in Abuja on Thursday.

According to Li, in China’s splendid traditional culture, calligraphy and painting have always been passed down from generation to generation as not just a form of artistic expression but a key to safeguarding the rich history and traditions of Chinese cultures.

“When it comes to Chinese calligraphy, we want to say that it has a long history of development.

“It is not only the accumulation and essence of thousands of years of Chinese civilisation, but also a treasure of world culture and art.

“We believe that calligraphy painting is a very important part of our culture. Calligraphy demonstration, and painting, can really strengthen our culture.

“By preserving and protecting our cultural heritage we have our roots and we have our identity,”he said.

Li also highlighted that calligraphy plays a crucial role in cultural preservation by keeping ancient scripts alive, documenting historical events, and passing down traditions from one generation to the next.

“Through teaching students, workshops, exhibitions, and educational programs, we embrace calligraphy as a means to not just celebrate diversity and promote cross-cultural understanding but to protect and preserve it.

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Also speaking, Dr. Anamah N’ben-ugo, Deputy Director of the Cultural Industries and Heritage Department at the Federal Ministry of Art, Culture, and Creative Economy, lauded China’s dedication to upholding their cultural heritage through calligraphy.

He proposed that Nigeria should draw inspiration from China’s efforts to safeguard its cultural symbols like Nsibidi, the Igbo form of calligraphy amongst other ethnic groups writings.

N’ben-ugo suggested showcasing Nigerian cultural heritage through exhibitions, leveraging Nigerian Embassies worldwide, similar to China’s approach, to promote and preserve their identity.

“As nations strive to preserve their heritage amid modernisation and globalisation, calligraphy serves as a timeless art form that transcends boundaries, fostering a deeper appreciation for human history.

Acknowledging the importance of healthy cooperation with China, N’ben-ugo reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to supporting cultural initiatives.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that awards were presented to outstanding Nigerian, Chinese educators and individuals promoting calligraphy in schools and learning institutions.(NAN)(www.nannews.com.ng)

Edited by Muhyideen Jimoh/Halima Sheji

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