New Ways to Learn Chinese Characters Explored at NYC Festival

The New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden is part of Staten Island Botanical Garden and embodies the characteristics and looks of an authentic oriental garden.(Image courtesy of Epoch Times / Chinese Cubes (USA) Inc.)
The New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden is part of Staten Island Botanical Garden and embodies the characteristics and looks of an authentic oriental garden.(Image courtesy of Epoch Times / Chinese Cubes (USA) Inc.)

In the West, Chinese characters are often seen as mysterious. Learning to write them is both mastery, and a means of connecting to Chinese culture. In order to unlock some of the mystery, New Yorkers can now partake in the first New York Chinese Character Festival, sponsored by New York University (NYU) and ChineseCubes (USA) Inc.

The festival began on Oct. 6, with an official launch at the NYU Kimmel Center, and will run until Nov. 3. The festival was conceived by Taiwanese-born publisher Rex How, who, after a lifelong love for the language, decided to dedicate himself to initiatives that promote learning it. Rex How is also the founder of ChineseCubes.

Jesse Poe, president of ChineseCubes North America, said there’s more than just pure beauty to the language. “It teaches you pattern recognition, which helps in your ability to concentrate, see patterns, and be able to problem solve more quickly,” Poe said.

For Poe, the language requires inventiveness when it comes to deciphering what the different combinations of characters could mean. ChineseCubes is an interactive Chinese language learning program, which combines physical cubes representing 200 basic Chinese characters, and a computer application that teaches beginners Chinese.

Poe said that although there’s a notion that Chinese language can only benefit a person when traveling or when trying to close a business deal, the demand for Chinese language learning is increasing twofold each year.

Chinese characters

Jesse Poe, president of ChineseCubes (USA) Inc. (Image courtesy of Epoch Times / Chinese Cubes (USA) Inc.)

Spotting Chinese Characters

Participants are invited to partake in four distinct contests by posting photos on social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.

The first contest—Best Chinese Calligraphy Photo—requires taking a photo of written Chinese characters. The second contest—Best Chinese Character T-shirt Design—requires taking a photo or digitally designing a T-shirt logo that includes Chinese Characters. The third contest—Best Chinese Character Tattoo Photo—requires taking a photo of a tattoo design that includes Chinese characters.

The fourth contest is different from the other three, as it involves discovering Chinese cultural landmarks and learning about some of the oldest Chinese relics in New York City.

Chinese characters

NY Martial Arts Academy aims to promote the art, science, and philosophy of the great Chinese martial artist Bruce Lee.253-26 Northern Blvd., Little Neck, NY 11362 (Image courtesy of Epoch Times)

Chinese characters

Columbia University is known to have housed many Chinese international students over the years, including Chinese poet Xu Zhimo, and other leaders.116 Street and Broadway, New York, NY (Image courtesy of Epoch Times)

Chinese characters

Four Seasons Hotel features interiors and public spaces designed by Chinese architect I. M. Pei. He also designed the John F. Kennedy Library.57 E. 57th St., New York, NY (Image courtesy of Epoch Times)

 

Chinese characters

Vera Wang is a well-known fashion designer who was born in New York City, where she established her famous line of wedding gowns.991 Madison Ave., New York, NY (Image courtesy of Epoch Times)

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