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May 28, 2017

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Foreign youth group study calligraphy in MOFA program

TAIPEI--A group of young people from Russia, Israel, Mongolia and Ukraine had a calligraphy lesson and learned to sing a Chinese song yesterday in Taipei, as part of a program to learn more about Taiwan.

The 20 youths, who are in Taiwan on a program sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, attended a class in which they were introduced to several calligraphy styles and tools.

Each of them, mostly in their 20s and 30s, seemed focused on the hands-on activity.

"I think it's beautiful," said Einat Lev, who works at the Foreign Trade Administration under Israel's Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor and was visiting Taiwan for the first time.

Victoria Dobromyslova of Russia described writing calligraphy as "very fun." "I really like it," she said.

Also on her first visit to Taiwan, Dobromyslova, 26, said writing Chinese characters in calligraphy is not difficult, as she is learning Japanese at a Moscow university.

Following the calligraphy class, the group learned to sing the popular folk song "Jasmine." They will sing the song and share their thoughts on their Taiwan experiences at a presentation scheduled for the following day.

During a 10-day trip that will wrap up May 7, the group has visited several places in northern Taiwan, including the Development Center for Biotechnology in New Taipei and a park on environmental protection education focused on recycling that was set up by the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, the ministry said.

They also traveled to the eastern county of Yilan to visit the National Center for Traditional Arts and the King Car Whisky Distillery there, the ministry said, adding that a tea farm in Yilan was also on their itinerary.

"We picked tea and learned about the process of producing tea," Lev said.

The group also had the opportunity to taste several Taiwanese foods and snacks, the ministry said.

The International Youth Taiwan Camp program, which was launched in 2009, is aimed at building understanding of Taiwan among international youth as part of the government's efforts to promote the country's international image, the Foreign Ministry said.

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