Little Tang (Tang Yao-Kun) with his Chinese calligraphy writing, "dragon leaps, tiger jumps". Behind is the teacher Mr. Liu Ming-Liang.
Many are amazed by the calligraphy writing of our little friend Tang (Tang Yao-Kun). One day during the calligraphy class, I chatted with Yao-Kun’s father.
3 years ago, when Yao-Kun was in kindergarten, he was a naughty and hyperactive kid. His teacher always suggested to his parents of bringing Yao-Kun to Mr. Liu Ming-Liang’s class to learn Chinese calligraphy. She added calligraphy is an art, a Chinese tradition, and also would be able to let little Tang settle down and more concentrate in his study. However, father Tang and mother Tang did not know much about calligraphy and thought that it would not be as useful to little Tang as told.
The kindergarten teacher insisted. Everytime father Tang and mother Tang went to the kindergarten, the teacher suggested the same thing again and again. Due to that, the parents reluctantly agreed and brought little Tang to Mr. Liu’s calligraphy class. They were however unsuccessfully locating the place of the class, and so they gave up.
The next time they met the teacher, again she suggested the parents to bring little Tang to the calligraphy class. Father Tang and mother tang felt sorry to give any excuse since the teacher really took this matter seriously and it would be for the own good of little Tang.
Where there is a will, there is a way: father Tang and mother Tang found Mr. Liu’s calligraphy class eventually and little Tang started his class since then. In addition, little Tang did not know about Chinese calligraphy at all. He took part in half-heartly. Mother Tang was in charge of bringing little Tang to class everyday.
Months after, and little Tang stepped into primary school year one. Father Tang was asking the performance of little Tang in the calligraphy class. He was told that little Tang was an excellent and well-behaved student in class. This appraisal of Mr. Liu however was a mistake because he was mistaken of little Tang’s name with another student. According to Mr. Liu, little Tang did not perform and not well-behaved in class. Even worse criticism was given by the teacher.
Father Liu was pissed when he was told and could not agree with Mr. Liu. He decided to take over the responsibility of little Tang’s learning from his mother, putting full supervision of little Tang’s learning and started to stay during the whole period of little Tang’s calligraphy class to check on him.
Not long after that, there was a competition. Father Tang encouraged his son to take part in order to gain experience and boost the interest of his son. This would be the first competition little Tang took part; also he was nervous as he had to write in front of a bunch of people and with other children. He finished the writing though.
During the prize giving ceremony for primary school students category, prizes were announced from the consolation prizes to 2nd runner up, 1st runner up then the best prize. Prizes announced respectively, the confidence of little Liu was getting lower and lower, and disappointment was getting greater. The prize giving ceremony for primary school competitors was over, and little Liu did not win any prize. He was so disappointed.
Little Tang insisted to stay for the later prize giving for junior high school category and high school category as he thought he might stand a chance in winning. Father Tang did not know how to explain to his son but he accompanied his son until the whole event was over. Both of the father and son were so upset. The son was let down because he didn’t win; the father was upset because the son.
During their ride back to home, both father and son didn’t speak a word. There was a moment of silence. Looking at the son, father Tang felt bad of forcing little Tang to the calligraphy class again. So he asked, “What do you want to do now?”
“Dad, I have to work harder!” he answered.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
3 to 4 years later after the first lesson of calligraphy, little Tang is 11 year-old this year. He is the star of Pay Fong 2 Primary school and many students and teachers are proud of little Tang. He has won many prizes in calligraphy competitions. The reasons behind the success are the patience of little Tang’s parents, the teaching of Mr. Liu, and also the hard work of little Tang.
Mr. Liu once told me, “Interest can be developed. Talent is nothing more important than hardwork, it only helps to acquire the skill quicker than others. The main keys of improvement are dedication and determination.” English physicist also said, “If I am anything, which I highly doubt, I have made myself so by hard work.”
Thanks so much to Mr. Liu for sharing his and his son’s learning experience with us. Hope that little Tang is able to continue with his hard work and be humble in his learning always.
Little Tang was writing at the Jonker Street of Melaka for a charity event. Little Tang's cute sister and father were just standing beside him.
“Why did little Tang learn callligraphy? Because he was interested in?” I asked.