Calligraphy and culture combine at the Asian American Cultural Center 

The Asian American Cultural Center hosts a Calligraphy night, teaching students how to write the basic strokes that makeup most stroke-based languages including Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Arabic on Monday, April 10, 2023. Photo by Izzi Barton/The Daily Campus

On Monday evening, the Asian American Cultural Center set the stage for a vibrant and creative calligraphy night. Students from all backgrounds were welcomed to explore the rich histories and fascinating stories behind the art of calligraphy in Korean, Mandarin and Hiragana. 

As the night progressed, students learned the intricate strokes and characters of each language using practice sheets and guidelines. With colorful markers, they exercised their skills and basic principles of calligraphy and character writing. Afterward, they began painting their own customized banners. 

The character stroke practice sheets helped guide students in the right order of strokes necessary to write out the characters. Some students went beyond the stroke templates with their own native languages. 

Sahiti Bhyravavajhala, a 6th-semester student and one of the organizers of the event, was excited to kick off the evening.  

“We talked a little bit about the history but now we’re having people practice it by tracing things out on the forms” Bhyravavajhala said. “In the end, once they’re done they can use real calligraphy ink to write out anything they want on paper using these brushes.” 

The students painted in an array of languages, using a colorful palette of paint and paper. Some wrote out their names in various languages, while others crafted phrases and words. The room buzzed with energy as students shared and admired each other’s work, discussing their calligraphy. 

This month, the Asian American Cultural Center celebrates its 30th anniversary, and the festivities are in full swing. Students, staff, and alumni are invited to participate in a plethora of events scheduled throughout the month. With Asian Pacific American Heritage Month being observed in April instead of May here at UConn, the excitement is palpable across campus. 

Val Chu, a 2nd-semester student and API intern, shared her insights on the eventful month ahead. “AsACC is really booked so we end up holding events almost every two or three days” Chu said. “We have more events toward the end of the semester since it’s easier to plan things out. We normally come up with the plans a month in advance and then book the room ahead of time so we can get things set up.” 

Whether it’s savoring dumplings or creating calligraphy, the AsACC has something for everyone this April. Students are encouraged to drop by the center and explore the rich tapestry of cultures and experiences that make up the Asian American community here at UConn. 

If you’d like to find out more, you can visit the AsACC website.

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