English | Dzongkha Friday, August 18, 2017

Letter Writing- A long lost art

Phub Gyem, Thimphu
Mar 3, 2017

From writing letters to sending emails via the internet and now it is smart phone.

The art of handwritten letter has fallen victim to the evolution of technology. What once used to be the only mode of communication has now become a long vanished art.

With technology breakthrough, people prefer sending emails and messages over internet and mobile phones considering the speed and wide reach. At a click of a mouse, information reaches millions around the world.

Gone are the days where writing letter was an earnest mode of communication. Over the time very few write letters.


Even postal services which were once widely used for posting letters are now mostly used for logistics and for posting official letters.

According to records maintained with the Bhutan Postal Corporation, its services are used by the tourists dropping post cards and mostly for delivering online purchased packages.

Even in schools, students write letters only as part of their modules but do not write or send genuine letters.

“We do not communicate in letters now. We communicate with our friends over the phone and send messages,” says Cheki Yuden, a student of Babesa Middle Secondary School

Others too have the same opinion.

“Our teachers taught us letter writing but we write it only during exams and never written practically to our friends or relatives,” says Tenzin Jamtsho of Zilukha MSS.

A Bhutanese contemporary writer Chador Wangmo says gadgets of the fast paced world, however convenient it is, will never do justice to the human touch that a hand written letter carries with its physical presence.

“The moment itself used to be very special. You sit down, and then you think of the person you want to write the letter to and framing your words. The emotions, the closeness that you become with the person with whom you share this letter, your secrets or your feelings you pour into that piece of paper, I think it was genuine.”

She said originality of one’s own emotion is also lost along with the personal touch that a hand written letter carries.

“In a social platform like Facebook, you see that people write so many stuffs in just one minute. And one or two out of the many things that are written out there, might resonate what you want to say actually.”

While the return of the long vanished art of writing letter may appear vague, there are still people like Chador Wangmo and alike who still have the flare for writing letters pouring their hearts out.

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