Chinese calligraphy and culture were under the spotlight recently at the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Joint School Chinese Language and History Society. Secondary students were reminded of the beauty of both when they took part in a programme which included a calligraphy contest and an informative cultural exhibition, to which the society's 32 member schools contributed. It was in 1986 that the first executive committee pledged to make a difference in the Chinese language sphere. Society vice-chairman Sandy Sung Nga-yee said: 'This is our 10th anniversary and our 18-member organising committee wanted to make it more memorable, so we staged both a calligraphy contest and an exhibition on the customs of traditional Chinese weddings.' The Chinese Language and History Championship attracted 400 entries in four categories - advanced and elementary divisions for both brush and pen groups. Of those, 32 were selected to show off their calligraphy skills in the final held at the Dragon Centre in Shamshuipo. Champions in all four categories received a trophy, a certificate and a silver coin. The Chinese Culture Exhibition, also at the Dragon Centre, showcased traditions of Chinese weddings so rarely seen these days. 'In some southern provinces in China, they are still practising the tradition of sprinkling peanuts and candies on the bed of a newly married couple,' explained Sandy, a sixth-former at Madam Lau Kam Lung Secondary School of Miu Fat Buddhist Monastery. 'In their culture, it's a gesture to wish the couple a 'sweet' marriage.' She told Young Post that Chinese weddings were chosen as the theme because there were many tribes in China with different traditions. The organising committee decided to focus on southern provinces such as Guangdong. It took participating students five months to complete their research. 'The hardest part was not the information-finding but the photographing of things like wedding pillows and gowns to present in the exhibition,' Sandy said. Eventually they settled on a format with several exhibition boards featuring photos and text which detailed their summarised research.