From across the world

From across the world

UNIQUE HOBBY

For Tanya Talwar, a media professional, collecting stamps and postcards is more than just a hobby -- it is a way of life and her passion.

Philatelist : Tanya Talwar with her collection of stamps.

Over the last 12 years, she has spent a lot of time, money and energy on collecting postcards and stamps. “I have relatives outside India. When I started pursuing this hobby, I asked them to get me stamps while coming back to India.

I even wrote letters to them and cut out the stamp from the envelope (that came as a reply) and kept it in my collection. This is how my passion for collecting stamps started,” said Tanya. She added, “I was 10-year-old when I started collecting stamps and now I have nearly 2,000 stamps from various countries.”

Her collection of stamps include those from European countries, the US, South America and Middle East. She has the maximum number of stamps from Europe.

Tanya said, “I also have first day covers, telegraphs which are 100-year-old and even postcards from different countries.” She added, “I tell my friends to get postcards for me whenever they travel out of the country. And now I have more than 20 postcards from different countries.”

Tanya has made a scrapbook in which she has pasted all these stamps which she has collected so far. The philatelist preserves her collection like an asset. “People, who are fond of collecting memories, collect stamps. I still write letters to my relatives and friends and in return get stamps,” she shared.

Philately is the study of stamps and postal history and other related items and involves more than just stamp collecting, which does not necessarily involve the study of stamps. It is possible to be a philatelist without owning any stamps. For instance, the stamps being studied may be very rare, or reside only in museums.

The word ‘philately’ is the English version of the French word philatélie, coined by Georges Herpin in 1864. Georges stated that stamps had been collected and studied for the previous six or seven years and a better name was required for the new hobby. He took the Greek root word ‘phil’ or ‘philo’, meaning an attraction or affinity for something, and ‘ateleia’, meaning exempt from duties and taxes to form philatélie.

The introduction of postage stamps meant that the receipt of letters was now free of charge, whereas before the introduction of stamps it was normal for postal charges to be paid by the recipient of a letter.

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