Great joy from small stamps

Monday, 2019-03-25 12:43:16
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Stamp collector Le Duc Van (second from left) shows his stamp albums to other market goers
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NDO – Come rain or shine, stamp lovers gather at 160 Trieu Viet Vuong Street, Hai Ba Trung district, Hanoi, at around 9 am every Sunday, where they share their common interest and exchange talks on Vietnamese and foreign postage stamps.

The meeting venue, being dearly called as ‘stamp market’, is simply set up with a couple of plastic stools and several small tables, which are arranged along the pavement.

90-year-old Le Duc Van drew much expectation from the market’s members upon his arrival since he would come to the gathering with his three or four stamp collections. Known as the owner of a unique stamp collection on women, Van is seldom absent from the weekly market despite his old age.

Sharing about his hobby, the former Chairman of Vietnam Stamp Association said that he started collecting stamps in 1954. At the beginning, he collected stamps on various themes before developing an enduring interest in stamps on women.

After more than a decade collecting stamps on the topic, Van is now the owner of thousands of Vietnamese and foreign stamps on women, including over 200 portrait stamps featuring sports women, Vietnamese women in production, and female politicians. He also possesses other treasured stamp collections.

Born and raised in Hanoi, Nguyen Tien Dat from Tay Ho district is interested in collecting stamps on Hanoi capital city. Having more than six decades nurturing his love for small stamps, Dat has joined the unofficial stamp market for 16 years. With his profound knowledge on postage stamp history, Dat has won a number of awards at stamp contests.

There is a common sign of identification for those coming to the market, a big bag of thick stamp albums to show others. For an elder philatelist, a stamp is not only a companion but also a reminder of important milestones in their life.

Meanwhile, younger collectors have found that a stamp can help to improve their knowledge and historical information. Each postage stamp conveys information on the history of the period of time when it is issued.

The ‘stamp market’ is simply set up with a couple of plastic stools, several small tables. It was founded by stamp collector Pham Hao (second from left) in 2002. (Photo: vnexpress)

Do Xuan Manh, who is working at the Hanoi Medical University Hospital, impressed the stamp market’s members with his collection of stamps attached to letters and postcards sent to him by his friends all around the world. The stamps, sent from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Honduras, Germany and Russia, open up an interesting world outside, helping Manh to take a trip through different lands and cultures.

The stamp market was founded by teacher, painter and veteran stamp collector Pham Hao. Since it was launched in 2002, it runs regularly every week except the first day of the first lunar year. Starting as a meeting venue of stamp lovers, it now also attracts many traders.

Every Sunday, the market is bustling with the conversations and laughter of market goers. Some of them just come there to admire stamps while others want to buy stamps to enrich their collections. Simple and intimate, the place has contributed to connecting those who share a similar interest in stamps while preserving an elegant spiritual habit in the modern life.