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太极拳洋传人讲述太极故事

2019-12-24 16:00| 发布者: 太极网安安| 查看: 3841| 评论: 0

摘要: 葡萄牙里斯本大学孔子学院学生在全球“我和我的孔院故事”征文大赛的获奖文章。
Taichi and calligraphy a glimpse of chinese ancestral culture
太极与书法--中国传统文化一瞥
作者:Luis Lanca
Luis Lanca

Traditionally the westerns celebrate the Christians religious events like Christmas, New Year and Easter and we are taught the Chinese also have the Spring Festival, the Lantern Festival and the Dragon Boat Festival just to give some examples. But to be able to participate in the Confucius Institute of Lisbon celebration of the Spring Festival was a big jump for me and one that I couldn’t anticipate.

In our mandarin classes at the Confucius Institute we always have different cultural subjects that we deal with because they are part of the classes program or because some specific events are related to important dates in the year.
I’m not the type of person who would jump to the stage at the first light of celebration and don’t even feel comfortable in taking part in public events so when the invitation was made to make a taichi chuan demonstration that I’ve been privately practicing for many years my “inner common sense” screamed a big “nono”. The invitation nevertheless came several times in subtle ways so, as I’ve come to realize this was a big event for my Chinese friends and I wouldn’t dare to disappoint them in such an important moment of their lives.

The next best thing to say “no” was, “only if I share the stage with someone” I told my teacher Mr. Wang Zaijun who also does calligraphy and he is a great fan of calligraphy, taichi and Chinese culture. “I’ll do calligraphy while you do your taichi, no more than 5 minutes long”. I thought “well, I think I can handle that”. And we happily agreed on that.


So, two weeks later with no rehearsal and no much more thinking about it we were to present ourselves at the ceremony that would last all day with multiple events in the university’s Theater Stage like music, satellite worldwide connections, expositions, performances from students and teachers and much to the delight of Chinese residents in Lisbon and local students both national and foreigners.


All in all the event was as expected full of color, cheerful music and a type of meeting that I suspect had very little to do with big public events organized in China but instead a family and friends sort of relaxed ritual gathering that followed a natural rhythm, the “Dao” as someone might say.

And this way the events rolled with food tastes of Chinese homemade dishes, singing and dancing groups and all types of Portuguese and Chinese versions of popular songs and popular cultural elements. The room was full of colorful clothes, Chinese decorations of all sorts and family and friends all over. In my chinese traditional outfit I wouldn’t stand out even though I couldn’t think of anything else as to go back to my regular clothes as quickly as possible.

By the time our event was supposed to happen I was already so tired of being nervous that I finally somehow relaxed. My performance partner which accumulated the performance with the shared presentation of the ceremony on stage on stage was more than ready since he had been for more than two hours presenting the different participants and making jokes about the Portuguese and Chinese phrases and meanings. A natural showman one could say.

And the signal came for our turn.


I must confess I hardly remember what happened since my heart at that moment stopped. I’ve never had publicly performed taichi chuan before and on very little occasions I’ve been facing a crowd on a stage (I had a brief amateur career as a drummer but that was in another life).


We took positions on the stage and the music started.

From the corner of my left eye I could see that Wang was drawing something on a big school board but I couldn’t figure out what it was, and what relation it might have with what I was doing since I could not interact with him or change my form. I had no clear view of his work and so any chance of trying to connect my movements with is writing was impossible. As relaxed as I could, I focused on the breathing coming slowly to the level I’m used in the classes to a point where I really lost the sense of where I was, the stage, my stage partner, the audience and the passing of time. I started really enjoying executing the Yang traditional taichi form that has been my companion for so many hours in the last 18 years. I really entered in another state of mind hard to describe in words.

Finally, I came near conclusion of the form and my attention slowly returned to the room just to realize that my teacher was far from finishing his calligraphy. He had drawn a cock to which he added the phrase 大吉图 ( painting of great luck) wishing everybody a happy year of the Cock.

We saluted the public and left the stage.
On the way back to my place in the audience I was very curious as people congratulated me for our performance and I just thought I didn’t do anything special but somehow, we were able to transmit to them the feeling you enter when you do taichi and calligraphy.
If it was the case, I just hope it has been a very enjoyable experience for them because for us it surely was.
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