2015 / 4月
Chang Chiung-fang /tr. by David Mayer
The innocent faces of children, and those worry-free early years, are precious beyond calculation. But the people who drive the “joy train” are all adults, and they often say, “We need kids to learn something, as well as having fun,” or “We can’t let kids fall behind others right out of the starting blocks.” So how is a kid to play to his heart’s content while also getting something out of the experience? It would seem that the arts cover all the bases.
Children’s picture books know no international borders, and have become a mainstay of children’s literature. Following in their wake, chapter books have also risen to prominence, easing young children into the world of the printed word via a combination of illustrations and text.
For many young girls, the thought of donning a tutu and dancing ballet is about the most beautiful dream imaginable. And while it may not turn into a career, the experience of having danced for a time in one’s youth nevertheless leaves a deep impression that a girl will recall for the rest of her life.
Choral singing is another area where children can display their talents and learn to act as part of a team. The pure sounds of young voices are as fleetingly beautiful as childhood itself.
Children can also have fun and learn a lot through participation in theater, whether as an audience member or a performer. Eden Social Welfare Foundation works with schools to offer instruction in theater to the offspring of immigrant parents. The idea is to use theater to give such kids a boost.
Calligraphy is not exactly all the rage, but even in this age of computers and mobile devices, there are still children out there who are willing to buckle down for an hour or two of quiet practice with brush and ink.
Kids who practice calligraphy learn how to write Chinese characters properly, but beyond that they hone their powers of concentration, learn to slow down and quieten down, and develop self-discipline.
Singing, dancing, acting, reading, writing... all these artistic childhood pursuits are good ways to launch upon the path of life.