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Fan mail

[ 2009-09-08 16:00]     字号 [] [] []  
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Fan mail

Nancy Matos

Reader question: “I often get fan mail from young girls in elementary school who say they want to be like me...”

Could you explain “fan mail”?

My comments: Many celebrities, from actors to singers to athletes, receive letters from their adoring followers, or fans, hence the name “fan mail”. Back in the days of teen idols like David Cassidy and Donny Osmond, “fan mail” would come in the form of hand-written letters sent my regular mail to these teeny-bopper stars’ talent agencies. Nowadays, although some fans still choose the “snail mail” (mail which takes a long time to be delivered) method of sending letters through the regular post, “fan mail” can be sent instantly via email.

In addition to letters, admirers can send “fan mail” in the form of a stuffed teddy bear, a handmade card or drawings.

One Chinese 17-year-old’s fan mail to NBA player Kobe Bryant resulted in him receiving a signed basketball from the basketball star. Li Anqiang lost his legs after being injured in the Sichuan earthquake and has been hailed a hero for saving the life of a fellow classmate. China Daily’s March 24 issue reported that Li emailed Bryant in February via Sina.com, expressing his admiration of the NBA star and asking for a signed basketball. In his email, he asked if Bryant had heard about the quake and said he still loved basketball because of him: "I will not give up, but will keep on playing because you are my idol. I can no longer stand up or run but I can still shoot hoops from my wheelchair.” Li also sent a picture of himself playing basketball from his wheelchair. Bryant was so moved, he replied to Li and called him a "strong boy whose attitude toward fate was amazing".

Li, being a unique young man, had a unique situation where he actually received a gift from his favorite star and had his “fan mail” personally answered. This is not often the case. As many big name celebrities have countless admirers, it is impossible for them to answer each “fan mail” individually. Most “fan mail” is ignored, although some may be answered by the star’s manager or fan club president, usually with just a signed photo as the reply.


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About the author:

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.