Published on Jutland Station on Apr 4, 2017.
If you are a snail-mail lover, you are not alone in Aarhus. Every first Monday of the month you can meet with a group of aficionados to send letters and postcards to your friends and family.
Have you ever written a letter to your loved ones?
Many years ago, it could be foolish to ask this question. Obvious even. Letters were the only medium of communication, so billions of them were sent and received all over the world. However, nowadays if you ask this question, many will say no, especially youngsters who are more familiar with and prefer communicating via SMS, e-mail and messaging apps.
The habit of writing letters seems to be fading more and more in modern life. It’s a pity because the charm of receiving a letter in the post is a good feeling. The expectancy, the surprise. Fortunately, Caroline Schouboe Deleuran and Olivia Boe Mortensen decided to relive the habit and put it into fashion again, here in Aarhus, with their monthly ‘Post A Letter’ pop-up event.
Bringing old-school back into the game
‘Post A Letter’ (PAL) started in 2012 by a student on exchange in Aarhus. Today it is run by Deleuran and Mortensen, both 20-years-old. Close friends from their school days, they teamed up after falling in love with the event when writing their first letter back in 2014. They began supporting the previous organisers, but in January 2016 officially took over the position of main organisers.
“I just really love it. I love it so much, I wanted to keep it going, and I thought Olivia and I could do good things with this activity. And we think that we are doing quite well,” recalls Deleuran about her motivation when they took over the responsibility.
PAL takes place every first Monday of the month at Café Smaglos in Aarhus. Anybody can stop by between 19:00 and 22:00, pick their paper and write letters or postcards to their loved ones. All stationery is sponsored by Post Nord, the joint postal service of Denmark and Sweden, and every participant receives three free stamps to send their letters to anywhere in the world.
Adding some creativity
Deleuran and Mortensen are in all the details. Days before the event, they go shopping to buy the stationery, including papers, pencils, glue and stickers, making creative envelopes from old magazines to save money and uphold a sustainable approach to the project.
When PAL is over the two collect, sort and count the letters. The addresses and stamps on each letter are carefully checked so that they don’t get lost before being taken to the postal service and sent on their way.
The biggest PAL in Denmark
Though PAL Aarhus has its sister in Copenhagen, organised on the first Tuesday of every month, Deleuran considers Aarhus to be the biggest letter-writing event in Denmark. There are usually 50-100 participants per event, which means the number of mails and postcards she and Mortensen collect can be up to 300.
PAL is definitely growing. When Deleuran joined the event three years ago, there were only 20-25 attendees. The atmosphere was more relaxed, and at that time she could write as many letters as she wanted. More and more people now attend, which means the girls are quite busy. In the beginning it was mostly Danes who attended, but now the nationalities are diverse.
Keeping the joy alive
Mortensen expresses that organising PAL means she can help people use their time to do something meaningful for their loved ones. Deleuran also mentions how they can share the joy of writing letters to other people, which is why the duo keeps this going. But they are not alone: they receive plenty of good feedback from participants expressing their joy at having been a part of the event.
PAL was even made into a short film by some multimedia students. And the event produces some curious stories – one attendee wanted only to write a letter to the White House to express her anger to President Trump.
The concept of writing a letter is an amazing thing. When you sit down, think, get creative and use your hands to write what you think, it means much more than a simple text message. And it doesn’t have to be a long letter; it can simply be a small drawing, but when sent to your dearest ones, it can mean a lot. It is a way of connecting with people that seems to be forgotten very easily nowadays.
If you are still in love with snail-mails, why not give ‘Post A Letter’ a try at their next event?