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Please don't send me Eid greetings via carriers

Inaam Rao

Modern technology has rendered the traditional Eid greeting cards outdated and the trend of posting them to one’s loved ones has become obsolete. The main factor behind this social change in Pakistan is the widespread use of cell phones.
People caught up in their daily routine prefer to send the Eid greetings via short messages service (SMS) instead of going to a shop to buy greeting cards and then mailing them to their friends and relations. Just a decade ago, it was considered an essential part of Eid celebrations to select designed greeting cards and then mailing them too.

Special makeshift stalls were set up across the country during the holy month of Ramadan where thousands of people would go to buy those cards. Some enthusiasts with deep pockets would even get their names printed on the custom-made cards before sending them to their loved ones nation-wide and even abroad.

But the advent of the cellular technology has rendered the practise almost archaic and it is now limited only to the corporate sector and a few government offices—thanks to public relations. The end to this practise has not only put the publishers and sellers of Eid cards out of business, it has also decreased the revenue of the Pakistan Post and private courier companies.

People having the choice of sending dynamic E-cards instead use their personal computers or simply send text or multimedia messages through their cell phones to save their time and money. Shah Alam Market, Urdu Bazaar and Ichra bazaar in city were used to be the central points for a great variety of Eid greeting cards but they have now lost their business.

A survey conducted by Pakistan Today on Wednesday revealed that the trend of buying Eid cards had almost ended in the provincial capital. The sellers said only some students and a few young people still preferred to send the traditional Eid cards and that was why very few companies were printing them. He said a select-class comprising city elite and high-ranking government officials placed orders for cards.

They said the customers were now left with very little choice in terms of variety. Ali Sohail, a shopkeeper, told Pakistan Today he had been setting up a stall for last many years and they would sell like hot cakes. “But now we have very few customers, mostly school and college students,” he added. A citizen Asad said Eid cards had become a thing of the past, adding that “People had no time for this out-dated thing. We just have to greet some one on Eid and we can do it using our cell phones, so no more Eid cards fuss.”

Another citizen Faiza told Pakistan Today that the technology alone was not to blame for the declining trend since the printing cost too had contributed to the new phenomenon. She said it was getting difficult for people to buy cards with prices increasing every year. She said a quality Eid card would cost Rs 30 to 50 but one could do the same by subscribing to the bundle SMS packages which were very economical.


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