Dating back to around 4,000 BC, Chinese calligraphy is one of the oldest forms of writing. The technique used brushes made from animal hair tied to a bamboo or wooden stick, and most educated men were expected to possess some skill in the art form. At one time, it was considered the ultimate form of visual art, and those who practiced it were universally respected. Today, calligraphy is still practiced by millions of Chinese, as well as people in other parts of the world, and it remains an important artistic skill, although with more in common with poetry than with intellect. Writing this way can be challenging, although relaxing and satisfying once you have started to learn Chinese calligraphy basics. Calligraphy kits are widely available online and courses aimed at those of all abilities can be found online, or taken in person.