Tibetan artist strives to sustain traditional calligraphy   2011-11-01 16:34:57 FeedbackPrintRSS

LHASA, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- Kalnor is among the few people who still practise traditional Tibetan calligraphy with a bamboo stick on a wooden board.

The 50-cm long, 25-cm wide birch board, known as "jangshing" in Tibetan, was an essential stationery item for Kalnor and his peers when they first learned to write.

"We had to practise on the jangshing for at least two years before we could write on paper," said Kalnor, 31.

The jangshings for beginners were often marked with four lines, and the number of lines was reduced as the students' writing improved, until only one line was left to mark the location of the text.

According to Kalnor, the ancient writing material was economical and green, as old jangshings could be used anew after being washed in the river and dried again.

As a child, Kalnor used bamboo sticks for a pen. The makeshift ink almost always came from the kitchen -- charred barley or soya sauce.

"When we wrote on the jangshing, we sat on the floor with legs crossed and wrote every stroke with patience," Kalnor said. "It was not just a practice of calligraphy -- it was also a process of extreme concentration and meditation."

A master of fine arts, Kalnor is now an art teacher at a secondary school in Duilong Deqing county on the outskirts of Lhasa. "Children who learned to write with the jangshing concentrate easily on everything they do."

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Editor: An
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