UN Secretary-General writes New Year greetings

Chinese New Year

A traditional Chinese custom is to write the “Fu” on red paper and hang it on the wall or the door at Spring Festival. The character means “blessing” or “good fortune”. This year, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has written one for the Chinese people. CCTV’s Wu Guoxiu reported this story from Beijing.

UN Secretary-General writes New Year greetings

UN Secretary-General writes New Year greetings

A traditional Chinese custom is to write the "Fu" on red paper and hang it on the wall or the door at Spring Festival. The character means "blessing" or "good fortune". This year, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has written one for the Chinese people. CCTV’s Wu Guoxiu reported this story from Beijing.

Fu, is probably the favorite character at Chinese New Year. People put it up to bring fortune and blessings for the coming year.

“I first explained the meaning and tradition behind the character to the secretary-general. When he’d absorbed that, he wrote it with feeling. He practiced it more than ten times, then wrote it on the red paper. He also carefully wrote down the date. It was a snowy winter day,” Professor Zhou Bin of East China Normal University.

Professor Zhou Bin has been teaching Ban Ki-moon calligraphy for three years. He also gives calligraphy lessons to staff at the UN, during China’s college vacations. When he teaches calligraphy, he says he’s really sharing Chinese culture with them.

“When I share calligraphy with him, we used phrases from Chinese philosophy that he likes. He has finished nearly 30 pieces of three or four character phrases from Chinese philosophy. I think he is great,” said Zhou.

Ban Ki-moon was invited to write the character Fu during a CCTV-led event. Masters and amateurs wrote the character, and sent them to people on the mainland, to Taiwan and overseas.

“We know secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has learned Chinese calligraphy for more than three years, and has made real achievements. He agreed to write the character as soon as we asked him. He also wrote the theme ‘Jia He Wan Shi Xing’ or ‘A peaceful family will prosper’ for the CCTV Spring Festival Gala. We were surprised a foreigner could do this so well. His work is really a great piece,” said Zhang Xiaoman, General Director of Calligraphy Channel, CNTV.

Aside from the calligraphy, Mr. Ban Ki-moon has also sent a recorded greeting, in Chinese.