Sunday February 10, 2013
Physical Chinese New Year greeting cards remain popular among Sarawakians
By VANES DEVINDRAN
KUCHING: The nostalgic feeling of receiving and sending out a Chinese New Year greeting card still resonates among many Sarawakians.
This year is no different as the number of pink and red envelopes continues to outnumber other mails in the sorting room of Pos Malaysia at Pending here.
A Pos Malaysia counter staff member at its city’s central office here who requested anonymity, said the tradition of sending greeting cards was still strong among the people here despite the quicker and effortless method of transmitting e-cards on the Internet, short messaging system (SMS) or multimedia messaging system (MMS).
“The trend remains year after year and this time around, many cards have passed through us — most are sent overseas and to the peninsula. I guess the people still hold on to the tradition of having something tangible which can be kept for a long time,” she said.
Such is the enthusiasm to deliver greetings by physical mails that Pos Malaysia even offers a festive rate for stamping by which any card weighing 50g or less sent within Malaysia requires only a postage of 50 sen.
Apparently, Pos Malaysia makes promotional rates such as this available during other festivals too like Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Christmas.
In a press statement, Pos Malaysia said it had processed 3.23 million cards as at Feb 5 this year, of which 30,576 were from Sarawak.
Pos Malaysia estimated that the number of Chinese New Year greeting cards for this year would reach 4.79 million nationwide. This estimation is an increase compared to last year’s when the number was 4.77 million.
Last year recorded a 20% increase compared to the number of cards mailed in 2011.
In preparation for the festive rush in the mail room, Pos Malaysia has even prepared a special unit to process the mailing of the Chinese New Year cards.
Staff leave has been frozen to ensure that there are sufficient num-ber of workers and they are allowed to work overtime if necessary.
Special mailing boxes are also allocated for the cards at post offices nationwide. A keeper of a card and gift shop who wished to be known only as Wen Yi said many people still opted to buy Chinese New Year cards for various reasons.
“We get many executives buying our cards probably because they are sending it to their business clients or counterparts. During this time of the year, hampers are sent around and they need cards to accompany their gifts,” she said.
For individuals, she said, they normally buy the number they need to send to their out-of-town friends or family members.
However, Wen Yi said some people bought the cards more for decorative purposes.
“A greeting card is very versatile. It doesn’t always mean that you buy a card to mail it to someone. You can do wonders with cards to decorate your house, or simply to add them to your collection,” she said.
As such, she said at her store those who buy at least four cards were entitled to a 20% discount. If they buy more than five, they would be entitled to 30% discount.
She said the cards sold at her store ranged from RM1.90 to RM10 each depending on the size.