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Friday, October 7, 2016

2016 UPU International Letter-Writing Competition winners announced

05.10.2016 - Fifteen-year-old Nguyen Thi Thu Trang of Viet Nam is the winner of this year’s UPU International Letter-Writing Competition.

This year's International Letter-Writing Competition winner Nguyen Thi Thu Trang enjoys some time by the Black Sea

 Trang, who is a student from Hai Duong, impressed an international jury with her touching letter to her 45-year-old self, beating a strong 980,000 entrants. She wrote her letter in the voice of Alan Kurdi.  

“My beloved self! Now, I am in Heaven. What a shimmering, fantastic world it is. There is neither day nor night. The sun, the moon and the sparkling stars shine together through an atmosphere as clear as crystal. My mother and brother are smiling along with many others. We have no nations, no borders, no migration, no religious discrimination, no terrorism and no violence. Everybody is equal; we are all souls living in harmony and serenity.” she wrote. 

As the gold-medallist, Trang will receive her medal in Istanbul, Turkey, during the closing ceremony of the 26th Universal Postal Congress on 7 October. 

UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein said he was delighted that children still value the power of the written word in our increasingly fast-paced digital society. 

“The care put into crafting and posting a hand-written letter is different than that we put into the electronic communications we now rely on in our increasingly digital society,” said UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein. 

“The creativity and thoughtfulness expressed by this year’s competition winners shows us just how stark this difference is,” he said.


The international jury also awarded a silver medal to Ivana Iliyan Yaneva, a 15-year-old girl from Bulgaria and the bronze to Da?a Bahor, a 14-year-old girl from Slovenia. 

Yaneva’s letter stressed the importance of enjoying every moment to the fullest. “My dear, your whole life is just a moment … It is not necessary to chase time. It is not necessary to compete with it … Enjoy it,” she wrote in the voice of her older self. 

Bahor wrote about her hopes for a world free of prejudice when she reaches her 45th birthday. “I hope that it is a new, more beautiful world that will permit differences, that will not try to condense people into a kind of ideal version of the human being,” she said. 

Special mentions were also awarded to:
  • Dimitris Mbaros, 14 years old (Cyprus)
  • Laryssa da Silva Pinto, 15 years old (Brazil)
  • Arina Klinova, 15 years old (Russian Federation)
  • Marija Dodovska, 14 years old (Montenegro)
  • Zaven Antonyan, 15 years old (Armenia)
  • Vitalina Vinnik, 12 years old (Belarus)
  • Anna Isabella Grech, 15 years old (Gibraltar)
  • Annapurna Bastola, 14 years old (Nepal)
  • Nuzhat Anzum Rahman, 13 years old (Bangladesh)
  • Sarah Enderle, 15 years old (Germany)
The UPU launched its International Letter-Writing Competition for Young People in 1971 as a way to promote literacy among young people. The theme of the competition’s latest instalment asked participants to write a letter to their 45-year-old self in celebration of the competition’s 45th anniversary. 

The theme of the 46th International Letter-Writing Competition for Young People will be released shortly.
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