I find it very interesting that so many countries around the world are concerned that modern technology is making inroads to completely replace handwriting. While we haven’t gone the way of “Star Trek” yet, relegating pens and paper to archeological museums, more and more people world-wide are noticing that handwriting is in danger of disappearing altogether.
Nigeria is trying to do something about it. In a poignant article about the history – and possible demise – of handwriting by Taiye Olaniyi, which was posted on AllAfrica.com, we can see how this African nation is attempting to prevent a complete take-over of handwriting by technology.
As early as 1971 the U.N.’s Universal Postal Union (UPU) introduced an annual International Letter Writing Competition for school children aged 9-15, in which Nigeria enthusiastically participated. At the time the competition was meant to make young people aware of the important role that postal services play in our societies. It was also hoped that the students would develop their skills in composition and the ability to express their thoughts clearly – and foster their enjoyment of letter writing.
Along the way the students have also learned about their world in a broader scope, as they were instructed to cover such topics as poverty, climate change, and threats to wild animal habitat.
To mark the U.N.’s 2011 International Year of Forests, the International Letter Writing contestants were asked to “Imagine yourself as a tree writing a letter to explain why it is important to protect forests.”
The theme of the 2012 UPU International Letter-Writing Competition is “Write a letter to an athlete or sports figure you admire to explain what the Olympic Games mean to you”. It’s hoped that this topic stimulates more entries in the competition, which has been declining due to computers and emails, as technology marches on.
As long as even a few students continue to enter the International Letter Writing contest, handwriting letters will remain alive for another generation. And that’s where my relaxing UGLee Pen enters the picture. Bottom line – wherever there is handwriting to be done, the best ergonomic pen should be on the scene. As long as handwriting remains a comfortable activity it will continue as a means of communication in our world societies.
For insightful musings on the history of handwriting, read Taiye Olaniyi’s entire article
Photo Credit: blog.compassion.com