Thursday, January 26, 2012

a little bit of china

i was at the national library this morning to give them copies of our book on community development.  as i was about to leave i decided to spend a few minutes perusing the chinese exhibit at the lobby.  do excuse the 3.2-mp cellphone photos!

the first thing i noticed about the exhibit was the set of brushes on the holder on the table.  the girl wasn't doing her calligraphy yet, but i guess she noticed me hovering around the booth.  she offered to write something for me if i had paper.  good thing i had a piece of scratch with me, so i asked if she could write my name. "but i don't know your name," she said.  "lauren. l-a-u-r-e-n," i answered.  she paused for a while.  "we don't have--" she was thinking of the right word, and i understood. so i offered, "what's the nearest word for my name?"  she thought for a bit, and wrote two characters.  "law-lah," she said (the "lah"'s sound sounds like it has a question mark at the end).  (please forgive me, i don't know how to write what i heard, but that's the nearest to her pronunciation/intonation.) 

some of the national library staff gathered around and wanted their names written too.

here's the calligraphy of my name (or the nearest to it), "law-lah" and the girl (i forgot to ask her name) from confucius institute.  here she is writing 'good luck' upon the request of one of the staff (michael, he said) who wanted the lucky characters written under his name.
 the ink smells awful, but the calligraphy is really nice! :)

other stuff in the exhibit were traditional opera costumes, a musical instrument, tea set, dolls, and textbooks on language.  it was really interesting.  a nice surprise after a simple library visit!

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