Though many consider stamp collecting a hobby reserved for the elderly, the storied pastime is seeing a resurgence in Vietnam’s Khanh Hoa Province thanks to a former university professor and his students.
Now retired, Nguy Nhu Anh, a former lecturer at Khanh Hoa University in Nha Trang City, travels elementary and middle schools across the province, sharing his passion with students and inspiring a new generation of stamp collectors.
Sharing a passion
During his presentations, Anh combines his love of teaching with his passion for stamps in a unique way that truly brings his lessons to life.
In a recent presentation he gave at an elementary school, Anh spoke on the topic of 'rest and leisure.'
To inspire the children, Anh began the presentation by showing dozens of stamps related to the topic.
Then, he gave the students several questions and asked them to choose stamps that best represented their answers.
His presentations also include lessons on how to separate stamps and games that require students to work in groups and share their thoughts on selections from his collection.
These presentations are so inspiring that many of the students he met have started collections of their own.
A relaxing hobby
Nguyen Hue Nhuong Huyen, an eighth grader at Nha Trang’s Thai Nguyen Middle School, started collecting stamps five years ago after listening to Anh's presentation on his collection at her school.
“My love for stamps bloomed when I saw teacher Anh’s beautiful stamp collection in class at Phuoc Tien Elementary School,” Huyen shared.
Stamps with pictures of late President Ho Chi Minh are of particular interest to Huyen, particularly those issued to mark his birthday.
And when she is not too busy spending her allowance on new stamps, she spends her time learning how to collect and preserve her collection from professional collectors at the Khanh Hoa Stamp Club.
“When I was in fifth grade, my stamp collection was displayed in Nha Trang’s stamp exhibition. Then, thanks to support from [the Khanh Hoa Stamp Club], my collection won a silver medal in the National Postage Stamp Exhibition 2020,” said Huyen.
Huyen’s family is extremely proud of her achievements.
“Collecting stamps has taught my daughter how to arrange and be meticulous with her collection. It has also helped her learn a foreign language, relax after school, and reduce her screen time,” said Huyen’s mother, Ton Nu Minh Hue.
Dang Cat Tien, also an eighth-grade student at Thai Nguyen Elementary School, has two stamp collections, though she only began collecting stamps one year ago.
Her heart-themed stamp collection was recently entered into an international exhibition while her Vietnamese Party congresses-themed collection took home a national silver medal in 2020.
“I have learned about all the Party congresses since I began collecting such stamps. My stamp collections are like my friends'. I hope to expand my collections and join more exhibitions,” Tien said.