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Dutch postage stamps … the finest souvenirs from Holland!

Dutch emigrants of a certain age will likely remember them well – those eagerly awaited letters from family and friends back home, which were brimming with news and arrived in a handwritten envelope embellished with a beautiful Dutch postage stamp. In fact, the Dutch stamp was often a treasured gift in itself, not only for its attractive colours and design, but because it often revealed something about the country that they had left behind.

The story behind Dutch postage stamps

These days, thanks to an ever-increasing use of email and social media, very few letters are sent any more. This is rather a shame, as Dutch stamps in particular make a delightful Dutch souvenir and one that can be especially precious to homesick Dutch emigrants.

Dutch stampsIndeed, many Dutch postage stamps tell a small story about the Netherlands, and are issued to commemorate an important event or a significant person from Dutch history, such as the 1945 Dutch liberation or Vincent van Gogh.

Dutch stampsThey also mark recent or forthcoming events, such as the inauguration of Queen Beatrix in 1980, the Elfstedentocht (the gruelling Eleven Cities ice skating event) and Sail Amsterdam.

Dutch stampsIn addition, a small number of so-called ‘kinderpostzegels’ (children’s stamps’) are released every year – these tend to feature a fun design and some of the proceeds from their sale are donated to charitable projects that support children in the Netherlands and / or abroad.

Collecting Dutch postage stamps

The Dutch post office still regularly issues both limited edition and children’s stamps throughout the year. And they remain an interesting and entertaining way to stay connected with the Netherlands. To start your very own Dutch postage stamp collection, simply ask your family and friends to send a periodic greetings card, letter or parcel via Post.nl and tell them not to forget the stamp!

Prefer to read this article in Dutch? Then why not visit our sister blog, Heimwee.info, specifically intended for Dutch emigrants abroad?

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