Many Chinese sayings are pearls of wisdom. That is why Hongkong Post has selected some for the theme of its annual children's stamps series this year.
Five famous aphorisms - 'mutual help in hard times', 'water drops wear away rocks', 'practice makes perfect', 'save to give', and 'as deft as a master butcher' - are printed on stamps with cartoon characters. A collection pack provides a background story on each saying.
'Idioms are very educational for children with positive messages about life,' says Nelvin Lee Chun-yu, senior manager of philatelic marketing at Hongkong Post.
'We hope the collection will attract youngsters and encourage them to collect stamps, too.'
Freeman Lau Siu-hong, vice-chairman of the Hong Kong Design Centre's board of directors, was responsible for the stamps' designs.
'I like the theme of Chinese idioms. I still remember the story of 'as deft as a master butcher', which I learned in school,' says the designer, who won first prize in poster design during Beijing's bid for the 2008 Olympic Games.
'It teaches us about staying focused and professional. The message is very meaningful.'
Lau has also made some stickers featuring the characters in the stories on souvenir sheets.
This way, he says, children will likely remember the stories better.
The sheets feature layers of transparent plastics, with each layer showing an individual story. By putting all the layers on top of each other, the images will turn into a combined story.
'It's like a mini-movie of a market place,' Lau says.
The designer says he was influenced by the style of Chinese calendars in the 70s which were produced by wood printing.
Stamps are like time capsules to particular moments in time, he says.
The new stamps will go on sale tomorrow at all branches of Hongkong Post.
Visit www.hongkongpost.com for more information