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Mightier than the sword, and still going strong

By Liu Xiangrui | China Daily | Updated: 2018-06-30 10:03
There used to be people whose profession was letter writing. [Photo provided to China Daily]

A television program called Letters Alive has been wildly popular since it was broadcast both online and on TV at the end of 2016.

The program, aimed at promoting reading by inviting entertainment celebrities to read letters, has now run for two seasons.

It aimed to open a window into history with the letters, and to rediscover the spirit and wisdom of traditional Chinese life, the program's introduction says.

Celebrities such as the actor Zhang Guoli and the actress Zhou Xun have read letters on the program and told the stories behind the letters. Mightier than the sword, and still going strong

The program makers selected nearly 100 letters by writers from different historical periods, from as early as 2,000 years ago to the early 20th century and contemporary time.

Through the letters, either those between family members or friends, the audience can learn about Chinese history, how famous figures dealt with each other, and about the lives of ordinary people.

Zhang Bing, of Guangzhou, Guangdong province, who admires the program, says it has awakened in him and many other people a love for letters.

"When a letter is read I feel like I am in that scene and living the age. The writer's mood and the social background all come to me vividly with the writer's words."

He wrote a letter to his mother after watching one episode, he says.

"The letter is one of the most important achievements in traditional culture. It can open up people's hearts in the most sincere way."

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