Students and staff were able to try their hand at traditional Chinese calligraphy art to celebrate the upcoming Lunar New Year this Sunday and raise funds for the Newport Community First Responders.
Lecturer Kai Ma organised the session on Friday to give students and researchers from China the opportunity to share the traditions of their Spring Festival, more commonly referred to as Chinese New Year, with the wider University community.
The Chinese Spring Festival celebrations start on the 23rd day of the 12th Chinese lunar month and last for about 23 days.
Kai said: “I have been raising fund for Newport Community First Responders over the years.
“Back in 2017, we finally raised enough money for a new vehicle so the team could continue serving the local community – we are very proud of this milestone!
“Over the pandemic, there was only one First Responder who covered the whole Newport area. The good news is that more volunteers have been recruited recently!
“The Community First Responders aim to reach a potential life-threatening emergency in the first vital minutes before the ambulance crew arrives.?They have helped local residents in Newport and Telford, including our students at Harper Adams University. They also run regular Defibrillation Awareness Course, First Aid Training and so on.”
More than 30 students and staff, including Vice-Chancellor Professor Ken Sloan, attended the lunch time session and practised traditional calligraphy art with help from students and Kai.
Senior Engineering lecturer Sam Wane said: “It was a welcome introduction to Chinese characters and an opportunity to take time out and use beautiful calligraphy brushes to learn to write our names. The coffee and cakes were tasty, and it gave us a chance to mingle with other Harper students and staff and show our support for the Chinese community.”
Speaking after the event, Kai said: “The session was so popular - although it was planned as small gathering to bring the Harper community together. I would like to thank those who participated and made donations.
“In Chinese culture, the sign of Rabbit is a symbol of longevity, peace, and prosperity. 2023 is predicted to be a year of hope. By writing traditional calligraphy, students and staff shared their New Year wishes and blessings. Celebrating cultural diversity and giving back to society brings hope to us.”
A collection box was available on the day, accompanied by refreshments and Harper Adams homemade brownies.
All funds raised will be donated to Newport Community First Responders.