Building connections with Farsi calligraphy

Photo by Hussein Alazaat

Photo by Hussein Alazaat

In an age of computers, keyboards and modern technologies, writing by hand may no longer be essential for daily life. Nevertheless, Jennifer Ng, program coordinator for an upcoming Farsi calligraphy workshop at MOSAIC, says calligraphy still has its importance.

She believes calligraphy permits self-expression beyond a straight line, allowing people to communicate through a common interest in this traditional art form.

“I am ecstatic to announce that MOSAIC will be presenting its first Farsi calligraphy class,” says Ng. “We wanted to try something new for our seniors programming to keep things fresh, while also using it as a means to target bigger issues.”

Creating a sense of unity

Social isolation is one of these significant issues. The intent of the workshop is to bring together people from all walks of life through a common interest and goal, and Ng sees huge potential for increased social inclusion and connectivity.

The workshop will be used as an instrument to encourage members within the community to explore new challenges, meet new people and learn something new.

“It is through this expanding of one’s social network and the constant engagement of the mind and body that MOSAIC hopes to target the issue of social isolation within our communities,” explains Ng.

Through this workshop, MOSAIC sees people coming together and forming a sort of support group in which they can discuss their daily lives, cultural and social issues and any other challenges they may face.

“This, in turn, can empower individuals to integrate further into society, knowing that others face similar challenges and that there is support out there,” says Ng.

This interconnectivity will also help to strengthen relationships and build a sense of unity amongst communities.

The charm of Farsi calligraphy

Farsi calligraphy is often held in great esteem due to its close relations with religious texts, but by no means is its calligraphy all religious in content,” explains Ng.

Instead, calligraphy has become a highly celebrated art form, where simple scripts are used to creatively convey one’s emotions, depending on the strength or curvature of its strokes.

According to Ng, the lines go beyond the simple duty of transmitting texts, and allow for a personal artistic expression. She describes it as placing one’s soul at the tip of the pen for all to see. Not only does it facilitate inner awareness, but it also enables spectators to make sense of the artist’s expression and inner dialogues.

“At the same time, practitioners will be equipped with a greater understanding of the Farsi language and culture, which strongly resonates with MOSAIC’s mandate to support and empower immigrant communities,” adds Ng. “I’m all for trying new and innovative ways to target the bigger social issues and affect some positive change no matter how big or small. And if we are able to learn a new skill or art form in the process, that’s even better.”

Ng hopes the workshop encourages participants to be more culturally aware and sensitive within multicultural communities and promotes inclusion for people of all cultures and backgrounds. The message she would like to get across to people is that there are opportunities to learn something new at every age.

“You just have to go out and find it,” says Ng.

Trying something new may be daunting, but Ng believes that each step someone takes is one more step closer to the unimaginable rewards waiting just around the corner.

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