Pupils of the “Sfintii Voievozi” Gymnasium School No.1 in Bucharest attended on Tuesday, together with important personalities, to a “Calligraphy Lesson” held at the Cotroceni National Museum, few days before the opening of the new school year. Philosopher and essayist Mihai Sora, actress Maia Morgenstern, violinist Alexandru Tomescu, President of the Romanian Gymnastics Federation, Andreea Raducan, the soloist of the music band Vunk, Cornel Ilie and journalist Amalia Enache, sat down with excitement in the desks prepared in the Cherchez Saloon of the museum. The participants aimed to draw attention on calligraphy, the handwritten word, sending an urge for education, culture, tradition, art and continuity.
At the event, General Director of the Cotroceni Natinal Museum, Liviu Sebastian Jucman, spoke about the role and the involvement of the institution into this project.
“I hope this campaign for handwriting that we are launching today, will be continued and supported =, in order for the message to reach as much children as possible. In the absence of the calligraphy classes in the school curricula, teachers, cultural institutions and opinion leaders have the role to promote handwriting. Many testimonies of the past can be discovered at the Cotroceni National Museum” stated Liviu Sebastian Jicman, General Director of the Cotroceni National Museum.
In her turn, Ms. Ligia Deca, State Counselor of the Romanian President at the Education and Research Department, stated that “Handwriting and its form full of charm and personality, calligraphy, favors the cognitive development of children. This is why promoting calligraphy through projects like the one hosted today by Cotroceni National Museum brings us closer to the Educated Romania”.
“Romania has many problems and enough solutions. Education is a big problem, and at the same time a very good solution. Education is based on handwriting. When we write a word with our hand, we assume it. In times when calligraphy is no longer studied in schools, we thought to organize a special calligraphy lesson at the Cotroceni National Museum” stated Calin Hera, PiArt Vision Co-founder.
Mihai Sora: “Writing beautiful is also a discipline of the mind”
The personalities attending the event, representing different perspectives of the Romanian society, evoked in their turn, their relationship with handwriting.
“In my time, handwriting was don with the nib (…) We had at least one calligraphy lesson in a week, and the object of our theme was to write nicely. It was an intellectual discipline, not only an appearance of beauty. Writing beautiful is also a discipline of the mind. You have to be careful not only to the content, but also to the way in which you say what you say. The accuracy of the expression goes hand in hand with the accuracy of paper printing” said philosopher and essayist Mihai Sora.
Writer Ana Blandiana sent a video message to those who participated to the Calligraphy Lesson, in which she pleaded in favor of the personal character of handwriting, urging children to be themselves, to express, think everything with their minds, not to take what they are told “as it is”.
“Literature is directly connected to handwriting. I have never wrote a literary text directly to the typewriter or the computer. What is important, what is personal to me, doesn’t have to be mechanical. Not to write by hand means renouncing to be yourself and letting yourself be manipulated by technology. All of us addicted to computers and smartphones, but this addiction must not be like a drug. We have to set a limit. The more cars and robots there will be, the more we have to be human beings” said writer Ana Blandiana.
Actress Maia Morgenstern, a real ambassador of the handwriting, remembered her special relationship with handwriting
“Calligraphy is a beautiful story for me. I began to write on the walls, when I was a child. I made signs, curved and broken lines, which transformed later, under my mother’s guidance, into an orderly handwriting. I encourage children to express in writing” said the actress.
A special intervention was made by the violinist Alexandru Tomescu, who had a dialogue with the children in the room. “Writing by hand is an intimate aesthetic pleasure” said the artist, who made an interesting parallel:
“We have electric violins, we have electric guitars and concerts on stadiums, just like we have concerts with instruments that are hundreds years old. The can coexist. In the same way, mobile phones and tablets can coexist with the pleasure to write on a paper, to personally involve in what you do” said violinist Alexandru Tomescu.
Former gymnast Andreea Raducan, recently elected as the President of the Romania Gymnastics Federation, wanted to attend the Calligraphy Lesson, just like she does every time when there are projects involving children.
“If I wasn’t a performance athlete, I would have wanted to become a teacher of Romanian language and literature. I kept the joy of making summaries and compositions from my Romania n language teacher and from my coach who was telling us, during the tournaments, to write down our impressions related to the place we were visiting. Sports and school make a very good team” Andreea Raducan stated.
Journalist Amalia Enache confessed that she is one of the presenters who never come to the news desk without having sheets of paper and a pen or a fountain pen, since she always has to write down something. “Calligraphy lessons became, in our days, like Latin or Ancient Greek, but we are between worlds and we have to fight to maintain the importance of the handwriting in our children’s education” said the journalist.
Cornel Ilie, the Vunk soloist, had a very personal intervention. “I write by hand at home, most of the times. Me and my wife are writing notes to each other, when I go in a tournament. I also write these notes for my little daughter Zara, two years old. I would love them to read them over the years, to see, depending on my handwriting, if I was hurried, if I was upset or happy, and realize how much I love them” artist Cornel Ilie confessed.
The Calligraphy Lesson itself was an example of grace and skill, a model of the way in which school classes should be. Teacher Raluca Petrescu from the “Sfintii Voievozi” Gymnasium School No.1 in Bucharest told the pupils from the 1st and 2nd grades a story about trust, good people, friendship, respect and books, words that children wrote nicely in their calligraphy notebooks, supervised by the present personalities.
The event had two other special guests: Dorjan Shabani, calligraphy artist coming from Iran, a country where calligraphy is a traditional concern, and the graphics expert Cristian Dumitrescu, who explained how handwriting is unique, defining each person.