09 August 2011

Hong Kong Chinese Idioms and Their Stories on stamps…


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Date of Issue : 28 June 2011

Hi ! Here is a very beautiful set of stamps issued by Hong Kong Post featuring moral stories for all. The stamps have a message for every age group. It is  a wonderful theme on stamps.Each stamp depicts an idiom and a story related with it having a life message for all. The stamps are very nice I like them very much !!

Chinese idioms are set phrases which have evolved over thousands of years of use. Hong Kong Post’s first issue of Chinese idioms stamps was received eagerly by philately enthusiasts and the general public in 2006. The second set is now released in the form of Children Stamps, intending to stimulate the younger generation’s interest in Chinese culture and philately with colourful and lively pictures on five idioms and their stories.

Chinese idioms are succinct and expressive, vivid and figurative. Often originating from fables, literature and historical facts or personages, their stories are full of references and the wisdom of the ages.


The set of stamps is themed on five Chinese idioms.


$1.40 - Mutual help in hard times
This idiom originates from Zhuangzi (369 - 286 BC), the famous Daoist philosopher born in ancient China. It literally means that when the spring water dries up, the fishes stranded on land moisten each other with their saliva. The idiom is now used to describe people coming to each other’s assistance during difficult times.


$1.80 - Water drops wear away rocks
According to the observation of a scholar of the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279 AD), water drops, small and soft as they may be, can hollow out hard rock over time. The idiom carries the message that perseverance and determination breed success.


$2.40 - Practice makes perfect
Dating back to the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907 AD) , this idiom refers to the repetitive heating and hammering during the iron forging process, alluding to the polishing of a piece of writing in the most meticulous manner in the quest for perfection. It is also used to describe one’s experience of numerous trials and challenges.


$3 - Save to give
This idiom originates from an article in the Tang Dynasty. It advises that governing officials should economise on resources so that more can be given back to the people for a better life.


$5 - As deft as a master butcher
Zhuangzi described in this story how a butcher used his superb skills to cut up an ox effortlessly for Lord Wenhui. It illustrates the fact that with constant practice and thorough knowledge, one can deal with everything with ease.

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Colour stickers associated with the souvenir sheet can be matched with monochrome shapes on the stamps to complete the five stories. The game enhances the meaning behind the stories for children, as well as making stamp collecting fun!

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