Sunday, 7 January 2007
Small pieces of paper can tell a long story. That's the reason I like stamps. Furthermore, I like travel and communication, and before the age of the Internet we used to sent letters to keep in touch.
For all you children, a letter is a written message from one person to another. The role of letters in communication has changed significantly since the 19th century. Historically, letters were the only reliable means of communication between two persons in different locations. As communication technology has diversified, letters have become less important as routine communication. The development of the telegraph, telephone and the Internet have all had an impact on the writing and sending of letters. In modern industrialized nations, the exchange of personal letters has become less common, being replaced by technologies such as the telephone and e-mail.
Some stamps are just beautiful, others tell you a lot about a country, its political system, its culture and its history. I have a large collection of DDR (former East Germany) stamps with some beauties such as a stamp devoted to the "anti fascist defence wall" also known as the Berlin wall.
Dutch stamps are more interesting than beautiful. Modern designers create pieces of paper that reflect their mood and background more than it reflects the country. Which means that there is sometimes a lot of public discussion about new stamp issued in the Netherlands.
For instance the well-known Dutch designer Marte Roling was asked to design a stamp for Korfbal, a Dutch sport. All she could produce was this:
So don't you agree, collecting stamps is almost as good as sex?