Chinese calligraphy (chin.: shufa)
The handwritten Chinese calligraphy is of course much more beautiful than characters written by computer. Today only few Chinese study the art of calligraphy but calligraphy used to be of much greater importance.
An applicant for the civil service could fail the exams because of insufficient, i.e. not so beautiful, handwriting. In China calligraphy is considered an art and therefore often used in combination with Chinese painting. A calligrapher uses the so- called "Four Treasures" of the study: inkstick, inkstone paper and brush.
It requires a lot of patience to learn Chinese calligraphy. It can take months until the teacher is satisfied with at least the first stroke of a character. A layperson can recognize the quality of calligraphy from the writing of the simplest characters which every pupil learns when he starts his studies.
Criterions are for example the thickness of a stroke at its beginning and end or the proportion of the character etc.. Every character has a sequence of strokes and it's very important to stick to it because it's easy detectable whether the strokes were set according to the rules or not.