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Celebrating The Dragon New Year

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office opened its doors to Chinese schools around the Bay Area for an afternoon of calligraphy and crafts.

Dragons were in abundance at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office Sunday.

They festooned posters in a contest sponsored by the Association of Northern California Chinese Schools, and "loong" character for dragon was being written in all styles of calligraphy around the room.

Students and residents from around the Bay Area met at the Silicon Valley outpost to show off artistic skills feting the Year of the Dragon on the Chinese horoscope. Some families traveled to the cultural office in Sunnyvale from as far as Danville to participate. Many of those leading the activities tables were retired teachers or professionals who had cultivated calligraphy in their spare time, in homage to scholarly life.

The activities at the tables were not your usual, easy-to-achieve crafts you find at western-style fairs. They all rewarded dexterity. Kids and adults had a chance to make colorful lanterns by folding and stapling the red "lucky envelopes," cutting stenciled paper to form the words "Spring," making clay model animals, or using brush and black ink to write a couplet on red paper.

Those with an artistic bent could aspire to practice the calligraphy of those such as Liew Kim Sze of Cupertino, who showed off his flowing rendition of the word "dragon," to great admiration.

The event was sponsored by the Association of Northern California Chinese Schools and the Joint Alumni Association of Chinese Unversities and Colleges.

The artistic work of students competing in the poster contest will unveiled at the Santa Clara County Government Center, 70 W. Hedding St., San Jose.

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