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《环球时报》(GLOBAL TIMES)对中国信虫群体的报道

《环球时报》(GLOBAL TIMES)对中国信虫群体的报道

原文标题:Autograph collectors make global connections



Photos signed by actor Dillion Casey Photo: Courtesy of Johanna Zhou

A postman carries a letter from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair's office in London. On the envelope, in neatly written letters is the final destination: "P.R. CHINA Chengdu, Sichuan Province."

Flying thousands of miles around the globe, the letter is eventually received by an 18-year-old high school student studying at the Oxford International College of Chengdu in Sichuan Province.

Since August 30, 2015, Yang Enhao has received 81 letters from countries around the world including the UK, France, Spain, Canada and the Czech Republic, among others. Senders range from politicians like Blair to popular soccer stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo and even Santa Claus.

"The reason why I get these letters is because I'm an autograph collector," Yang told the Chengdu Commercial Daily in an interview.

"I'm communicating with the world in a very special way," Yang said.

"These people might seem very far away, but through letters, we get closer."

Young enthusiasts

"(In China) it can be seen as an offshoot from soccer fan culture," said Yuan Lian, an autograph collector since 2003. Also a moderator of a QQ group for letterfan.com, Yuan supervises more than 300 signature enthusiasts.

Yuan told the Global Times that the earliest autograph collectors in China were soccer fans, which can explain why many of the big name autographs showed off online were collected by soccer stars. Over time, these soccer enthusiasts began writing to entertainment and political figures.

In this digital age in which pen and paper are seen as somewhat archaic, writing letters has actually become popular among China's younger generations.

Yuan defined signature collecting as a "fringe hobby" that is mainly limited to young people. According to him, nearly 60 percent of the collectors in his group are students, while more than half the members of the official QQ group for the "Autograph Collector Tieba" forum on baidu.com belong to the post-1990 generation.

"Young people usually have more time and energy to do this kind of stuff. After they get jobs, the pressure might make it hard to carry on," Zhang Jixue, the moderator for the "Autograph Collector Tieba" forum and its QQ group, explained to the Global Times.

Showing sincerity

While some young collectors use e-mail to ask for signatures, most still insist on handwritten letters as they give a more personal feeling.

"While communication through the Internet seems convenient and fast, your genuineness often gets buried under a large amount of information. Handwritten letters on the other hand feel like they take up more time, but you can always get a real reply," Yang told the Chengdu Business Daily.

When writing to his favorite soccer clubs and stars, Zhang always prefers to handwrite his letters to show his sincerity, which he feels helps make it more likely that he will get a reply.

"E-mail can't manage this. Sincerity is a core value for autograph collectors," Zhang emphasized.

Although writing letters takes a lot of time and energy, it is a relatively easy hobby to get involved in.

"All you need to do is establish a style for your letters and learn where to send them," Zhang said.

Handwriting letters is only part of the battle. Making your letter stand out from all the others a celebrity gets requires some special techniques. Some experienced collectors recommend using traditional Chinese red envelopes, starting with people who are not that famous or discussing personal problems with politicians instead of serious public issues.

Some veteran collectors such as Zhang offer to guide newcomers, but they still emphasize that newbie collectors must still do the work themselves.

Inspiring newcomers

"Although autograph collectors have long belonged to the minority, we always have a new generation to whom we can pass on our interests," Yuan admitted.

"I have a mentor in this circle. In addition to mail strategies, he also taught me some detailed writing techniques," Johanna Zhou, a 22-year-old who just graduated from university, told the Global Times.

Even though she has been collecting autographs for three years, Zhou still considers herself a newcomer.

"From the moment I saw a tutorial post on the Baidu Tieba forums, I wanted to have a try. It really wowed me when I got a reply," she said.

Since the beginning of this year, Zhou has sent out 400 letters. Nearly 110 of them received a reply, including replies from Jackie Chan, Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne, American singer Jennifer Hudson, and all the members of FC Bayern Munich.

Zhou said she would never forget the moment when someone told her that actor Dillion Casey was looking for her on Twitter.

Known for popular TV series Nikita, Casey was shooting the first season of his show Remedy in Canada when Zhou wrote to him.

However, he lost the envelope which included her address.

"I was stunned when my friend told me, " she recalled. "I dashed to Twitter right away."

Attaching a picture of an envelope with a big red Chinese character for "Fu" (good fortune), the actor tweeted: "To the girl who sent me this - can you give me your mailing address?"

原文链接:http://www.globaltimes.cn/conten ... mp;isappinstalled=1

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