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A Very Unique Letter

Not everyone writes a letter using paper and pen or pencil. There are several examples to show just how some people use the most weirdest ways to express themselves through letters. One such place where you can experience this kind of uniqueness is in the Yunan Province in South China, practiced by the Jingpo minority. People here are known especially for their uniqueness in writing letters in objects rather than ink.

Receiving a piece of beef or pork from someone, symbolizes that there has been a death in the family about which information could not be conveyed at the right time because of long distance. A root represents that you are being missed. The most creative of letters is when young people wish to exchange love letters. If a young man wants to express his love for a girl, he sends a letter made of a root, a chili, a bulb of garlic and several grains of sesame. While the root and sesame grains mean that the girl is being missed very much, the chili is to express that the feelings of the boy are as hot as chili and garlic symbolizes that he is extremely eager to talk to the girl. If the girl refuses to accept the proposal, she returns the letter adding some charcoal to it meaning that the chances of her accepting the proposal are as dark as the charcoal.

At times, the girl may attach a special grass called milky grass to the letter. This is to indicate that there are fair chances that she might consider his proposal. In response to this, the boy sends a letter with two fresh chestnut leaves face to face along with the chili and grains of corn, beans and unhusked rice as an expression of his eagerness to become her groom. Fortunately, if the girl sends back a letter of tobacco, it is a moment of extreme joy for the boy. However, if the letter has two chestnut leaves back to back, its a heartbreaking news for the boy.

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