Is the era of handwritten letters ending in China?

By Satarupa Bhattacharjya/Xing Yi ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-05-09 09:17:16

Is the era of handwritten letters ending in China?

Handwritten letters in different languages. Photo provided to China Daily

A sunny morning breaks in Shiquan, a mountainous county in Northwest China's Shaanxi province, as Zhao Mingcui begins to strap postal items onto the sides and the back of a motorbike ahead of her journey. Every second or third day in a week, she delivers mail to the villages nearby, a job she has held for almost two decades.

It's around 9 am. But Zhao, who often uses dirt bikes and boats to reach remote areas, is still fussing over a handwritten letter inside a sealed envelope. Either the intended recipient's address isn't clearly marked, or she wants to ensure that the person is available at a given time to receive it.

After making a few phone calls to track down the addressee, she starts her lightweight Honda.

Zhao, the 42-year-old China Post mail carrier, is concerned with the fate of the single handwritten letter in her post of mostly newspapers and small parcels of the day.

Even until 2002, she would take dozens of letters and telegrams to the villages, but now paper communication is down to an average of two or three a week-mainly from soldiers to their families or others in need of village council attestations of documents such as marriage or birth certificates, she says.

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