Do many Vietnamese people enjoy calligraphy?

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Do many Vietnamese people enjoy calligraphy?

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Not really much but the student in elementary school will study this kind , secondary and high school not use that anymore.

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I wouldn’t say enjoy, more like appreciate.

There are two styles of existing calligraphy in Vietnam: Western and Eastern. The West, or Latin cursive calligraphy, is taught in elementary schools as a mandatory course in order to make students write better. There is also a belief that one’s handwriting determines one’s personality, so calligraphy is very important. (Although Vietnamese don’t call Western calligraphy calligraphy ; instead, they’re called beautiful handwriting .)

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As for traditional calligraphy, only the north still does Hán Nôm calligraphy, while the entire country does Quốc Ngữ calligraphy. The north still retains the traditional Hán Nôm calligraphy, but not many people understand the meanings, so they’re just used for decorative purposes and for good luck.

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Quốc Ngữ calligraphy is much more widespread since people can read them, but it’s a very tricky calligraphic style. One has to be really good in order to make it look good. If not, it’ll end up looking like chicken scratch.

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So yes, calligraphy is very important still in Vietnamese culture, but the dynamics have changed.

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Almost all of us enjoy calligraphy as a form of good will and good luck.

Famous calligraphy made by well known calligraphers can be sold for a lot of money as an object that bring in luck.

Vietnamese are superstitious in many ways and calligraphy is one of those thing that express it.

Unfortunately , to enjoy calligraphy as an art and practice it is a lost cause.

There are not many calligraphers left in Viet Nam. Majority of them do it as a side job and only do so during festivals or celebration.

I myself don’t believe too much in calligraphy. I don’t find it beautiful , nor does it serve any purpose. I’m a feature over form guy so meh.

It’s a nice to have , but not really all that necessary. For one, i don’t feel the strength of character behind their hand movement , their knowledge behind the word written down. The value of the words is behind the writer , so having a not sightful person doing it is never worth the while. It’s not about how beautiful the word is to me , but how powerful it is coming from the writer.

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There are two types of calligraphy in Vietnam: the Western-style calligraphy with chữ Quốc Ngữ only and the traditional style of calligraphy with chữ Quốc Ngữ, chữ Hán Nôm.

I’m not an artistic person, and all the artistic stuffs are lost on me, but I enjoy looking at both. I resent learning calligraphy of any kind though.

The Western-style calligraphy is employed as a part of the daily life, esp in formal occasions when the usual cursive writing won’t suffice (i.e. the notes on birthday presents, formal meetings, new year banners of businesses, etc.).

Most students in elementary school have to learn the Western-style calligraphy for at least 2 years. More, if they’re good at it. It’s just a part of the standard public education system. There are competitions on the city and country scales on Western-style calligraphy for children from 1st grade to 5th grade. These competitions are important events for elementary schools. Three years of my life were wasted practicing the Western-style calligraphy with blood, sweats, and tears (not a hyperbole), in isolation and constant surveillance for a good half of each school year when I could have spent that time studying something else, like sports, another foreign language, the old Hán Nôm writing system, math, having an actual childhood, etc. All that efforts, only to be thrown out of the windows the moment I hit 6th grade, when the need for just jotting things down as fast as possible overrode any artistic sense.

The traditional style of calligraphy is considered more of an art form than a part of the daily life. The traditional style calligraphy is usually hung on the front of the house or the office during traditional celebrations (such as Tết) and special occasions (such as opening days of businesses) or employed as literally a work of art to decorate the house/office. The traditional style is more popular in the north than it is in the south.

The traditional style is usually offered as a part of Hán Nôm courses at language centers for adults and teenagers. Not many people choose to study this course because knowledge of Hán Nôm just isn’t very useful to most people’s careers.

I like looking at calligraphy of both kinds, but I would rather die than learn (or relearn) any of them.

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Some, especially those who study Chinese and Hán-Nôm, the country’s former script based on Chinese characters. However, the appeal is quite limited.

A note: About twenty years ago, Japanese and Korean visitors to Vietnam looked down on us with comments like: Vietnam is underdeveloped because Vietnam has left the Sinosphere and gave up on Chinese characters. I dressed them down sharply and told them to shut up, effectively telling them: Japan occupied Vietnam for five years and together with the French caused the death of two million Vietnamese during the World War Two. Korea sent two hundred thousands troops to participate in the Vietnam War, killing fifty thousand Vietnamese civilians in the process. It is we Vietnamese who have the right to lecture, not the other way around. They can either keep quiet and make money in Vietnam or they can leave immediately. Those people apologised.

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No.

Some Vietnamese love calligraphy of French style.

Vietnamese calligraphy of Chinese style is bad art.

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Shortly after arriving in Vietnam out of Vietnamese language school I began to completely revise my American style handwriting (all over the place) to make it more uniform, legible, etc... My goal was to gain respect from the readers of my Vietnamese writings — the better the handwriting the better the initial impressions ( I was writing notes to singers in Tea Rooms and receiving poems, etc.. in return).

Fifty seven years later, if I write a short note in Vietnamese the impact is visible on the reader. Their first comment is almost always complements on my handwriting.

I believe the Vietnamese inherent regard for calligraphy remains quite strong and part of their culture.

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