Meet sevvie (aka Hanna), who lives in Helsinki, Finland. She likes films (and going to movie festivals) and practising the different writing styles when a member provides the address in their native alphabet or writing script! :)Here is what she had to say:
- How did you come across Postcrossing? What got you hooked?
I think it was a cold autumn day some 6-7 years ago when a friend of mine from school mentioned having Postcrossing as her hobby. She might have been on her way to post some cards or buy a few stamps and I might have asked what they were for, I can’t quite recall, but in any case I got rather curious about the whole thing. I have always loved snail mail and Postcrossing seemed like a great way to find people who thought the same, and not just within Finland but practically all over the world. I also thought it would be a rather inexpensive and not a very time-consuming pastime, but I’ve later had to revise that idea a bit. Also, cards can really take up space! But I don’t mind any of these things because all in all Postcrossing is a wonderful hobby.
- What is it your favorite part of the Postcrossing process?
As much as I love receiving cards, I have to admit that choosing a card to match each recipient is by far my favourite part. I enjoy writing small messages on the cards, preferably so that there is not much space left afterwards. It’s also great if someone requests a drawing, or if the recipient has included their address in their native language as well. It’s nice to get to practice different writing styles, and I expect it’s also easier for a postal worker to handle the card that way too. I especially like writing Cyrillic and Japanese/Chinese addresses. So far I haven’t seen that many Korean or Thai addresses, and I'd very much like to try Arabic as well. Although I'd probably be a bit nervous doing it. With unfamiliar alphabets there's always the risk of writing gibberish instead of something understandable. But it is always great to try.
- Show us your mailbox, your mailman/mailwoman, your postoffice or the place where you post or keep your postcards!
We finally got a new mailbox some months ago. It was not ours to buy, so we had to wait nearly a year for the new one. The neighbourhood we live in is known as “the rainiest place in Finland”, so having a leaky mailbox that suspiciously looked like someone had bumped against it several times with their car was not very pleasant. Often my cards would be if not soggy and a bit torn, then at least slightly damp, and they would curl oddly as they dried. So we were glad to get a new mailbox. Even though it doesn’t look that special, we like it a lot.
I store my received postcards in albums and keep my cards-to-send in old shoe-boxes. Or that’d be the ideal situation anyway! Often the cards are anywhere there is some free space until I have time to organise them, which can take a while. I also upload my received cards on Picasa for easy access, though obviously without all the wonderful messages, handwriting styles, stamps, postmarks and stickers.
I used to leave my cards in the Post Museum special cancellation box, but now that the museum has moved to Tampere I use the General Post Office’s special cancellation box. I also like to attend First Day events to send cards with special postmarks and brand new stamps.
- Show and tell us about your favorite received postcard to date, and what makes it special.
I have received so many wonderful cards it feels strange to try to narrow them down to one favourite, or even several. I prefer art cards and cards related to books, films and television, but as long as a card is visually pleasing, I’ll love it. Here there are three official Postcrossing cards I have found especially lovely:
US-761954 from Karen-Campbell, DE-2024899 from Kaate, PL-643913 from krystyna (with an honourable mention to DE-1524632 from glaesmann). And below are three direct swap cards from Jodie05, Lucia28jp, and WY, respectively. All of them have made me even fonder of - and more fascinated with - the world we live in.
- Do you have any other interesting hobbies?
Well, I don’t know about interesting, but I really enjoy films. Surprising, I know. But I think watching films is actually rather similar to Postcrossing, in a way. You get to see small glimpses of other cultures, traditions and ways of thinking. I also love languages and music, so I’m always equally as eager to hear a film as I am to see it. It’s a wonderful thing that there are so many outstanding film festivals here in the Capital Region. Film festivals definitely do broaden the selection and you get to see films from all over the world. The newest additions are, I think, Helsinki Cine Aasia and Season Film Festival, held for the first time this March and April. I was glad to go and see three films at Helsinki Cine Aasia, two from China and one from Japan. I usually buy a festival voucher that allows you to see ten or eleven films during a festival. My favourite festivals are Espoo Ciné and Rakkautta & Anarkiaa (Love & Anarchy), the two major ones, but there are numerous smaller ones that I also like to attend.
Besides films, I love reading speculative fiction and tending to plants.
- Is there anything that you are passionate about?
Passionate is a rather strong word and perhaps not something I’d easily describe myself with; I just try to live my life the best way I can and enjoy it to the fullest. I suppose that is something I am quite eager to realise, in a way, though it’s a rather difficult goal to be sure. Obviously there is much that I view as very important, such as my family and friends, the state of the environment, and so on, and things I really enjoy doing, like reading and cooking. Overall I think I’m also a bit of a do-gooder, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I believe I’d be quite unhappy if I weren’t vegetarian, hated recycling or never bought clothes and furniture second hand, and so on.
And if I think about all the wonderful things I’d miss terribly if they’d suddenly be gone, the list would be at least as long as the number of kilometres our postcards have travelled. Stories and dreams, dancing, music, songs and singing, everything in nature, solving a puzzle, baking a cake, the feeling of joy I get whenever one of my postcards gets registered... Even the tiniest thing can really make a difference. I could say that I’m quite keen to make myself appreciate these things, big and small, as they deserve to be appreciated.
Saying that I’m actually passionate about life feels a bit trite, but I guess that’s exactly what it is at the end of the day.
Happy postcrossing and joyful summer!