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October 10, 2019

Postal services still relevant despite technology


October 10, 2019

World Post Day is celebrated each year on October 9th, the anniversary of the establishment of the Universal Postal Union in 1874 in the Swiss capital, Bern. It was declared World Post Day by the UPU Congress held in Tokyo, Japan in 1969. Since then, countries across the world participate annually in the celebrations. The purpose of World Post Day is to create awareness of the role of the postal sector in people’s and businesses’ everyday lives and its contribution to the social and economic development of countries.

Every year, more than 150 countries celebrate World Post Day in a variety of ways. In certain countries, World Post Day is observed as a working holiday. Many Posts use the event to introduce or promote new postal products and services. Some Posts also use World Post Day to reward their employees for good service. Many countries organize philatelic exhibitions and new stamps and date cancellation marks are issued. Other activities include the display of World Post Day posters in post offices and other public places, open days at post offices, mail centres and postal museums, the holding of conferences, seminars and workshops, as well as cultural, sport and other recreational activities. Many postal administrations issue special souvenirs such as T-shirts and badges.

Though the importance of postal services has dwindled somewhat due to digital messaging, in the city they still play an important role in courier and parcel services and many rural areas depend on these services to post and receive letters and documents.

The day is also brings nostalgia memories for the older generation as they are reminded of days when the postman was eagerly awaited as he brought news of relatives and friends from home and abroad. The happiness of receiving a letter or a card; the disappointment of not receiving one when it was expected; the cards that used to come on birthdays and other days of celebration, for instance Eid and Christmas etc. and made the day special, adding to the enjoyment. The personal touch of writing a letter or note by hand and going out to post it has disappeared into oblivion and it’s just not the same when getting an e-card or an email. These memorable things of the past will never come back - the younger generation does not know what it is missing as it happily texts messages and uses WhatsApp to communicate. So a thumbs up for World Post Day for reminding us of the good old days!

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