Taiwanese calligraphers ring in new year with record attempt
AFP - 53 minutes ago
TAIPEI (AFP) - - Thousands of Taiwanese calligraphers on Thursday jointly wrote Chinese characters in a global record attempt aimed at ushering out a turbulent 2008 and ringing in a peaceful and safe new year.
A total of 12,902 people aged from three to 93 joined the event sponsored by the Taipei city government, with government officials participating.
"We believe we've created a Guinness World Record," a city government official told AFP, adding that this was pending verification from the Guinness adjudicators. There is currently no such record for mass calligraphy writing of this kind.
President Ma Ying-jeou wrote the Chinese character for "safe," "hoping it would bring safety to the country and people while stabilising the mind of people," the official said.
"Chaos" was picked last month by the Taiwanese as the character for 2008 after a turbulent year marred by high-profile corruption scandals implicating former president Chen Shui-bian and top officials.
Among the 61,600 people who took part in a telephone poll, nearly 8,000 voted for the Chinese character "luan" (chaos), followed by "pian" (lie) and "tsang" (miserable), said the United Daily News, a co-organiser of the survey.
Also on the list of the top 10 annual characters were "corrupt," "depressed" and "love" -- the only positive character to make the list.
Last month Chen was indicted with 13 other people, including his wife and son, on charges of embezzlement and money laundering in a case that has captivated Taiwan for months.
Prosecutors say that Chen, the island's first former president to face trial here, and his wife, Wu Shu-chen, made illegal gains of 45 million US dollars from embezzling public funds and taking bribes from local businessmen.
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Thousands of Taiwanese calligraphers on Thursday jointly wrote Chinese characters in a global record attempt aimed at ushering out a turbulent 2008 and ringing in a peaceful and safe new year.
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