Lively life beat from newspaper

Thursday, 2018-11-15 07:11:31
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Reading “standing newspapers”.
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NDO – I woke up on an early Hanoi autumn morning, when the street lights were still lit. It’s time to take a walk around the Sword Lake to enjoy the cool weather. Life is passing slowly and quietly across the streets. Sipping a cup of hot tea watching the deserted streets from a small corner, I saw an elderly person slowly passing, holding a new newspaper. Suddenly a daze came - like missing something of the old days...

I remembered a period of the so-called the "golden chapter" of printed newspapers. On every street corner, sidewalk and in cafes, it was easy to catch people enjoying their favourite drinks while focusing on each news page.

Reading the morning newspaper is a habit, a culture of Hanoians. No matter who they are, officials, civil servants and office staff all read newspapers in the early morning for updating and exchanging news. Retired officials after their morning physical exercises also stopped along the lake or park benches, spending time reading news articles. Manual labourers, drivers or women in the markets took their free time when they didn’t have to serve any customers to read newspapers, looking for the "sensational" columns and chatting with excitement.

Reading newspapers is a spiritual therapy, refueling positive energy to start a new day. Thanks to this habit, the disadvantaged have been facilitated in earning their living. In the old days, a familiar image was the disadvantaged labourers and children swinging the newspapers in their hands while calling for customers to buy them: “Newspaper, newspaper! Who wants to buy a newspaper?”

The distinctive sound of the street cries knocked on the street, signaling the beginning of a new work day. In the football season like the World Cup, the EURO, or the Premier League, the newspaper market became more exciting. The number of daily and special publications rocketed, but ran out very quickly, and late buyers would have no chance to buy them.

Readers in Da Lat city look for information in printed version of Nhan Dan Newspaper. (Photo: NDO/Mai Van Bao)

When it came to the digital age, traditional activities have gradually faded, including the habit of buying and reading newspapers. With just a compact mobile device like a smartphone or a tablet, with the current telecom development, readers can collect information around the world from anywhere.

Life through the act of swiping, surfing and touching seems more hustled, more rushed and it limits many traditional cultural values. In many families, digital technology has changed the way of life, leading to a lack of children laughing and making the elderly lonelier…

For those who prefer to live slowly, the habit of reading newspapers is still maintained. My neighbour is a retired officer for many years, but he never quit buying newspapers early every day. One of my colleagues shared their concerned feelings when they saw retirees and labourers reading “standing newspapers" through the glass frame hanging in front of a newspaper building. They read attentively as if there was no throbbing from behind them.

The habit of reading “standing newspapers" slows the pace in the busy streets. Nowadays, at dawn, when walking around from Hai Ba Trung Street, going to Trang Tien Street and then turning to the Hanoi Post Office, it is easy to see the transfer of morning newspapers there. The "hot" piles of newspapers are loaded onto motorcycles, prepared to be transported to a number of distribution points to the readers.

Thinking about the "old days" always brings about a little pity, but the development of life is such. The constant transformation of life forces people to follow its rotation. In this increasingly hustle-and-bustle cycle, values beyond material matter should be cherished!