Friday, October 12, 2007

Kong Rong and the pears

I have received last week, from my philatelic pen pal in China, a set of stamps issued this year by his country. Among the numerous stamps he sent me, the following pair has drawn specifically my attention.

The two stamps are printed se-tenant, and the background is golden (it’s hard to see on the scan). Why did I notice those stamps particularly ? It is because they have also been issued in the form of a booklet, but this time the stamps are self adhesive. Here is the cover and the content of the booklet.

As far as I know this is the first time that China issues a booklet of self adhesive stamps. The full set has been issued on the 1st of July.
Now let’s speak about the subject of the stamps. The set is entitled “Kong Rong declines big pears”, a bit enigmatic. After some search on the Net I found out that Kong Rong has lived in the period of the eastern Han dynasty (25-220). He was born in 158 and he died in 208. He is in the centre of a legend (or folk tale ?) and has become a symbol of courtesy and humility for the Chinese young people. The story is that when he was four years old, he was offered, together with his brothers, a set of pears. He was proposed to pick one first, and to the surprise of the adults, he decided to take the smallest one, leaving the biggest and sweetest ones to his older and younger brothers. Hence the title of the stamp set.

I really like when stamps are illustrated with such local subjects, that really reflect the culture of the issuing country. We see too often stamps issued by big nations (including France by the way) picturing subjects that have no strong links with the local culture and traditions.


zhoufan said...

Chinese stamps issued tomorrow, hope that the likes!


Anonymous said...

Bonjour j'ai vu ton commentaire sur ce timbres que vous avez aprecise bp,
merci la meme chose pour moi,votre poste francaise a emit aussi une carnet 2007 "la seire de la sourire"
Je l'aprecise bp

donc j'espere que vous aurez bien passer le temps en philatelie