Sunday, December 28, 2008

FDC from Taiwan/FDC du Taiwan

Launch of the cross-strait mail links commemoratives postage label (ATM)/
Le lancement du courrier de trans-détroit relie le Timbre de distributeur commemoratives

Sunday, December 21, 2008

FDC from Hongkong/FDC du Hongkong

Hong Kong, China – Republic of Korea Joint Issue on Masks/
Timbre Emission commune Le Hong Kong- La République de la Corée:Les masques

"Staged folk dance is a unique performance genre with a long history. Its themes cover a wide spectrum of subjects ranging from people’s daily activities to myths and legends. While folk dances from different nations display a rich variety of styles because of differences in their historical and cultural backgrounds, they do share some common features. One example is the use of masks to highlight the identity or character of individual dancers. Hongkong Post and Korea Post jointly issue a set of two stamps on "Masks" to showcase the distinct folk dance masks of the two places. This marks the ninth joint stamp issue released by Hongkong Post with other postal administrations.

Mask from Hong Kong, China — Big Head Buddha Mask in Southern Lion Dance

There are different versions of the origin of Big Head Buddha, but most are associated with lions. In the Southern Lion Dance, the first one to appear in the show is the always cheerful Big Head Buddha. A fellow with a palm leaf fan in his hand, the Big Head acts in an amusing way to provoke the lion to perform a series of agile manoeuvres, enhancing the joyous festive mood. The Big Head also plays funny tricks on the lion to induce it to "Cai Qing" (Pick the Greens) or "Po Zhen" (Smash the Battle Line), a symbol of bringing "good luck" and "bumper crops" to all households.

Mask from Republic of Korea — Chwibari Mask of Bongsan Mask Dance Drama

The Bongsan Mask Dance Drama, designated the "Important Intangible Cultural Property No. 17 of Korea", is steeped in realism. Each mask used in a performance reveals the occupation and social status of a character. Through delightfully nimble movements and humorous presentation, the dancers satirise social ills or express the concerns and frustrations of ordinary people. Their performance gives the audience an opportunity to temporarily take their minds off their worries. The most famous folk dance form in Korea, the Bongsan Mask Dance Drama is frequently staged at home and abroad during seasonal festivals and celebrations for good harvests or marvellous feats, as well as ceremonies to welcome visiting dignitaries.

With two opposite face silhouettes as the backdrop, the souvenir sheet presents two masks — a Chinese mask of "Big Head Buddha" on the left and a Korean mask of "Bongsan Mask Dance Drama (Chwibari Mask)" on the right. The theme of the stamp issue is shown trilingually in Chinese, Korean and English. The vibrant colours and contrasting patterns add an intensity to the costumed images on the stamps."-Hong Kong Post

FDC from DPRK (North Korea)/FDC de Corée du Nord


"Two stamps showing posters were issued.
12 won stamp:
It vividly shoes the fact that there is nobady to win over the Korean People's Army which was developed into the invincible revolutionary strong army of Mt.Paektu under the wise leadership of Leader Kim Jong Il.
85 won stamp:
It shows well the validity and vitality of the policy of the Party on actively comtrubuting to the people's life by doing well the bean framing."-Korean Stamp Co.,

FDC from DPRK (North Korea)/FDC de Corée du Nord

50th anniversary of introduction of the universal secondary compulsory education system/
Le 50ème anniversaire d'introduction du système d'éducation obligatoire secondaire universel.

"A stamp was issue to mark the 50th anniversary of introduction of the universal secondary compulsory education system.
The great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung regarded the education of the offsprings as an important undertaking which decides the prosperity and ruin of the country and saw to it that the decree of the Supreme People's Assembly of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on giving the compulsory secondary education to all the coming generations and on arranging the readliness of being capable of giving the technical compulsory education was adopted on October 2.Juche 47(1958).
The stamp shows the schoolchildren who are growing up safe and sound to be pillars in the building of the great prosperous and powerful nation. showing their talents to the heart's content under the wing of the party."-Korean Stamp Co.,

Saturday, December 13, 2008

FDC from Japan/FDC du Japon

New Year's Greeting Stamps for 2009/
Les Timbres de Salutation de Nouvel an pendant 2009

"The Chinese Zodiac is a 12 year cycle. Each year of the 12 year cycle is named after one of the original 12 animals. Each animal has a different personality and different characteristics. The animal is believed to be the main factor in each person's life that gives them their traits, success, and happiness in their lifetime.

The Chinese zodiac refers to a pure calendrical cycle; there are no equivalent constellations like those of the occidental zodiac. In imperial times there were astrologers who watched the sky for heavenly omens that would predict the future of the state, but this was a quite different practice of divination from the popular present-day methods.

The 12 zodiac animals:
1. Rat (Yang, 1st Trine, Fixed Element Water): Forthright, disciplined, systematic, meticulous, charismatic, hardworking, industrious, charming, eloquent, sociable, shrewd. Can be manipulative, vindictive, mendacious, venal, selfish, obstinate, critical, over-ambitious, ruthless, intolerant, scheming.
2. Ox (Yin, 2nd Trine, Fixed Element Water): Dependable, calm, methodical, patient, hardworking, ambitious, conventional, steady, modest, logical, resolute, tenacious. Can be stubborn, narrow-minded, materialistic, rigid, demanding.
3. Tiger (Yang, 3rd Trine, Fixed Element Wood): Unpredictable, rebellious, colourful, powerful, passionate, daring, impulsive, vigorous, stimulating, sincere, affectionate, humanitarian, generous. Can be restless, reckless, impatient, quick-tempered, obstinate, selfish.
4. Rabbit (Yin, 4th Trine, Fixed Element Wood): Gracious, kind, sensitive, soft-spoken, amiable, elegant, reserved, cautious, artistic, thorough, tender, self-assured, astute, compassionate, flexible. Can be moody, detached, superficial, self-indulgent, opportunistic, lazy.
5. Dragon (Yang, 1st Trine, Fixed Element Wood): Magnanimous, stately, vigorous, strong, self-assured, proud, noble, direct, dignified, zealous, fiery, passionate, decisive, pioneering, ambitious, generous, loyal. Can be arrogant, imperious, tyrannical, demanding, eccentric, grandiloquent and extremely bombastic, prejudiced, dogmatic, over-bearing, violent, impetuous, brash.
6. Snake (Yin, 2nd Trine, Fixed Element Fire): Deep thinker, wise, mystic, graceful, soft-spoken, sensual, creative, prudent, shrewd, ambitious, elegant, cautious, responsible, calm, strong, constant, purposeful. Can be loner, bad communicator, possessive, hedonistic, self-doubting, distrustful, mendacious.
7. Horse (Yang, 3rd Trine, Fixed Element Fire): Cheerful, popular, quick-witted, changeable, earthy, perceptive, talkative, agile mentally and physically, magnetic, intelligent, astute, flexible, open-minded. Can be fickle, arrogant, anxious, rude, gullible, stubborn.
8. Ram (Yin, 4th Trine, Fixed Element Fire): Righteous, sincere, sympathetic, mild-mannered, shy, artistic, creative, gentle, compassionate, understanding, mothering, determined, peaceful, generous, seeks security. Can be moody, indecisive, over-passive, worrier, pessimistic, over-sensitive, complainer, wise.
9. Monkey (Yang, 1st Trine, Fixed Element Metal): Inventor, motivator, improviser, quick-witted, inquisitive, flexible, innovative, problem solver, self-assured, sociable, polite, dignified, competitive, objective, factual, intellectual. Can be egotistical, vain, selfish, reckless, snobbish, deceptive, cunning, jealous, suspicious.
10. Rooster (Yin, 2nd Trine, Fixed Element Metal): Acute, neat, meticulous, organized, self-assured, decisive, conservative, critical, perfectionist, alert, zealous, practical, scientific, responsible. Can be over zealous and critical, puritanical, egotistical, abrasive, opinionated.
11. Dog (Yang, 3rd Trine, Fixed Element Metal): Honest, intelligent, straightforward, loyal, sense of justice and fair play, attractive, amicable, unpretentious, sociable, open-minded, idealistic, moralistic, practical, affectionate, dogged. Can be cynical, lazy, cold, judgmental, pessimistic, worrier, stubborn, quarrelsome.
12. Pig (Yin, 4th Trine, Fixed Element Water): Honest, simple, gallant, sturdy, sociable, peace-loving, patient, loyal, hard-working, trusting, sincere, calm, understanding, thoughtful, scrupulous, passionate, intelligent. Can be naive, over-reliant, self-indulgent, gullible, fatalistic, materialistic."-wiki

FDC from Japan/FDC du Japon

1000th Anniversary of The Tale of Genji/
Le 1000ème Anniversaire du Dit du Genji

"The Tale of Genji (源氏物語, Genji Monogatari) is a classic work of Japanese literature attributed to the Japanese noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu in the early eleventh century, around the peak of the Heian Period. It is sometimes called the world's first novel, the first modern novel, the first psychological novel, or the first novel to still be considered a classic, though this issue is a matter of debate (see Stature below.)

The first partial translation of Genji Monogatari into English was by Suematsu Kenchō. A free translation of all but one chapter was produced by Arthur Waley. Edward Seidensticker made the first complete translation into English, using a more literal method than Waley. The most recent English translation, by Royall Tyler (2001), also tries to be faithful to the original text. Diet member Marutei Tsurunen has also made a translation in Finnish."-Wiki

"Le Dit du Genji (源氏物語, genji monogatari) est une œuvre considérée comme majeure de la littérature japonaise du XIe siècle, attribué à Murasaki Shikibu. L'intrigue du livre se déroule pendant L'époque de Heian.

Le Genji est un fils d'empereur qui ne peut prétendre au trône. Il est donc à l'origine (源, gen) d'une nouvelle branche (氏, ji) impériale.

Le Dit du Genji, qui se présente comme un récit véridique (物語, monogatari), raconte la vie d'un de ces princes impériaux, d'une beauté extraordinaire, poète accompli et charmeur de femmes. Toutefois, bien que le roman soit présenté comme une histoire vraie, on pense généralement que Murasaki Shikibu s'est inspirée de Fujiwara no Michinaga (966 - 1028) un homme d'état réputé.

Il s'agit pour beaucoup du premier roman psychologique du monde. La caractère intemporel des relations humaines y est pour beaucoup et si les us et coutumes de la cour peuvent nous être étrangers, les vicissitudes que rencontrent les personnages sont bien plus familières. Par bien des aspects l'œuvre est une critique incisive et complète des mœurs décadentes de la cour de Heian mais avec un regard intérieur, intime car après tout l'auteur est elle-même un membre de la cour. Si on prend en compte la date de l'œuvre, les sujets abordés sont très en avance sur leur temps. Il y a là la femme bafouée, le mari jaloux, la courtisane, le séducteur impénitent, la fascination du pouvoir, les différentes classes sociales, l'argent.
Un des plus anciens manuscrits du roman, musée Gotō. Encre sur rouleau de papier XIIe siècle

Une des difficultés majeures de lecture réside dans le fait que les personnages (plus de deux cents) sont presque tous nommés uniquement par leur titre dans la Cour impériale. L'histoire durant plusieurs dizaines d'années, ils évoluent, et donc changent de titre. Les lecteurs et les traducteurs contemporains utilisent divers sobriquets pour suivre les nombreux personnages du roman."-Wiki

FDC from Japan/FDC du Japon

The 150th Anniversary of Keio University/
Le 150ème anniversaire de l'université de Keio

"Keio University (慶應義塾大学, Keiō Gijuku Daigaku) is a university located in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. It is one of the leading universities in Japan,similar to one of America's Ivy League institutions.Keio is the oldest private university in Japan established originally as a school for Western studies in 1858 in Edo (now Tokyo) by founder Fukuzawa Yukichi. Its baseball team plays in the Tokyo Big Six league.

Keio was founded in 1858 by Fukuzawa Yukichi, who had studied the Western educational system at Brown University in the United States. While Keiō's initial identity was that of a private school of Western studies, it expanded and established its first university faculty in 1890, and became known as an influential leader in Japanese higher education.

Rugby union was first introduced to Japanese students at Keio University by Edward Bramwell Clarke and Tanaka Ginnosuke. (The game had been played in the treaty ports of Yokohama and Kobe before that, but not between Japanese teams.)

The interest of Keio's students in baseball stretches back to the early years of the 20th century; and the history of exhibition games was reported internationally. In 1913, an American professional team made of players from the New York Giants and the Chicago White Sox played the Keio team in an exhibition game. In a 1932 exhibition game, the Keio team beat the University of Michigan team which was then touring Japan."-wiki

"L'Université Keiō ou Université Keiō Gijuku (慶應義塾大学 Keiō Gijuku Daigaku) est la plus ancienne et une des plus prestigieuses des institutions d'éducation supérieure du Japon. Elle fut fondée en 1858 par Yukichi Fukuzawa en tant qu'école privée d'études occidentales et ouvrit sa première faculté universitaire en 1890. Elle serait nommée d'après l'ère Keiō, qui précéda l'ère Meiji, de 1865 à 1868 (soit peu après la fondation de l'université).

Bien que Keiō fut la première école avancée du Japon, elle fut rapidement égalée par l'Université de Tōkyō, l'Université de Kyōto, e dû au fait que Fukuzawa était un adversaire des samourais qui avaient fondé le gouvernement oligarchique du Japon durant l'ère Meiji. L'Université Keiō est malgré tout toujours en compétition avec sa rivale, l'Université Waseda, qui est aussi une prestigieuse université privée au Japon. Parmi les anciens élèves emblématiques, on notera le Premier ministre japonais Jun'ichirō Koizumi.qui étaient aidées par l'État. Cela était en parti"-wiki

Thursday, November 27, 2008

FDC from Japan/FDC du Japon

The 60th Anniversary of Enforcement of The Local Autonomy Law Series-Kyoto Prefecture/
Le soixantième anniversaire de l'application de la loi locale d'autonomie-Préfecture de Kyoto

"Kyoto Prefecture (京都府, Kyoto-fu) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kinki region of the island of Honshu. The capital is the city of Kyoto.

For most of its history, the city of Kyoto was the Imperial capital of Japan. The history of the city itself can be traced back as far as the 6th century. In 544, the Aoi Matsuri was held in Kyoto to pray for good harvest and good weather.

Kyoto did not start out as the capital of Japan. A noteworthy earlier capital was Nara. In 741, Emperor Shomu moved the capital briefly to a place called Kuni-kyo, between the cities of Nara and Kyoto, in present-day Kyoto Prefecture. In 784, the capital was moved to Nagaokakyo, also in present-day Kyoto Prefecture. In 794, Emperor Kammu moved the capital to Heian-kyo, and this was the beginning of the current-day city of Kyoto. Even today, almost all of the streets, houses, stores, temples and shrines in the city of Kyoto exist where they were placed in this year.

Although in 1192 real political power shifted to Kamakura, where a samurai clan established the shogunate, Kyoto still remained the imperial capital as the powerless emperors and their court continued to be seated in the city. Imperial rule was briefly restored in 1333, but another samurai clan established a new shogunate in Kyoto three years later.

In 1467, a great civil war, the Onin no Ran, took place inside Kyoto, and most of the town was burned down. Japan plunged into the age of warring feudal lords. A new strong man, Tokugawa Ieyasu, established the shogunate at Edo (today's Tokyo) in 1603.

The Meiji Restoration returned Japan to imperial rule in 1868. Emperor Meiji, who was now the absolute sovereign, went to stay in Tokyo during the next year. The imperial court has not returned to Kyoto since then. The subsequent reorganization of the old provincial system merged the former Tango Province, Yamashiro Province and the eastern part of Tanba Province into today's Kyoto Prefecture.

Although many Japanese major cities were heavily bombed by U.S. bombers during World War II, the old capital was protected from devastating bombing. This was partly due to a study of Japanese culture by the anthropologist Ruth Benedict (author of The Chrysanthemum and the Sword). During the occupation, the U.S. Sixth Army was headquartered in Kyoto."-wikipedia

"Kyoto est une ville japonaise qui fut de 794 à 1868 la capitale impériale du Japon. Elle est aujourd'hui la capitale de la préfecture de Kyoto ainsi que l'une des grandes villes de la zone métropolitaine Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto. Sa population est de 1,46 million d'habitants (estimations 2005) et se trouve dans la zone horaire UTC +9 heures, soit 7 ou 8h de plus que Paris suivant l'heure d'été ou d'hiver.

Bien que des preuves archéologiques permettent d'affirmer que les premiers hommes foulèrent les terres des îles du Japon dès 10 000 ans avant JC, la région de Kyoto ne fut peuplée qu'à partir du VIIe siècle par le clan Hata venu de Corée. Au cours du VIIIe siècle, voulant s'éloigner de l'influence du clergé bouddhiste au sein du gouvernement impérial, l'Empereur prit la décision de déplacer la capitale depuis l'actuelle Nara vers une région éloignée de cette influence.

La nouvelle ville, Heiankyo (lit. « la capitale de la Paix ») devint le siège de la cour impériale en 794. Plus tard, la ville fut rebaptisée Kyoto (« la ville capitale »). Elle développa deux quartiers spécifiques : le quartier sud où se situait le palais impérial et la cour ; le quartier où le Shogun Yoshimitsu Ashikaga (足利 義満) plaça en 1378 sa résidence dans le 'Hana no Gosho' (ou Muromachi-dono, Karasumaru-dono) du quartier de Muromachi. Cela donnera par ailleurs le nom de la Période Muromachi de l'histoire de l'archipel. Le shogun se fit également contruire le Pavillon d'Or Kinkaku-ji dans le nord de la ville. Par la suite, la ville fut véritablement dévastée par les armées lors de la guerre d'Onin, abandonnée en grande partie par ses habitants et livrée au pillage de 1467 à 1477. En 1489, le shogun Yoshimasa Ashikaga se fit construire l'une des merveilles architecturales du Japon : le Pavillon d'Argent (Ginkaku-ji) qui voulait rivaliser avec le Pavillon d'Or construit par son grand-père Yoshimitsu Ashikaga. Mais Kyoto resta la capitale impériale du Japon jusqu'au transfert de la résidence de l'Empereur à Edo en 1868, lors de la Restauration Meiji. Edo était déjà la capitale administrative et commerciale du pays, comme siège du shgunat Tokugawa. Après qu'Edo fut rebaptisée Tokyo (signifiant « la capitale de l'Est »), Kyoto fut connue peu de temps sous le nom de Saikyo (« la capitale de l'Ouest »).

Epargnée par les bombardements de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, Kyoto échappa de peu à la destruction atomique ; en effet, la ville figurait en tête des cibles désignées par le comité des objectifs américain. La ville fut finalement rejetée suite à l'intervention du secrétaire de la Guerre des États-Unis Henry Lewis Stimson et de conseillers, dont le Français Serge Elisseeff, qui connaissaient la richesse culturelle de la ville, et estimèrent que sa destruction serait un obstacle grave à une réconciliation ultérieure avec le Japon. (voir Bombardements atomiques d'Hiroshima et Nagasaki)

Les monuments historiques de l'ancienne Kyoto (villes de Kyoto, Uji et Otsu) ont été inscrits au patrimoine mondial de l'Unesco en 1994.

En 1997, Kyōto accueillit la conférence qui donna naissance au Protocole de Kyoto."-Wikipédia

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

FDC from Croatia/FDC de la Croatie


"The ancient monastery of St. Clare in Split, dating from the year 1308, celebrates this year the seven-hundredth anniversary of its foundation, being maintained and permanently renewed through the stormy centuries of our history by the influx of new vocations. When the seraphim father, St. Francis of Assisi, the founder of three orders, overcome by the love of God, drew along with him Clara Sciffi, a girl from a noble family of Assisi, she followed the example of St. Francis and renounced the “world“ – enclosing herself by the walls of San Damiano monastery – so that she could freely elevate her spirit to God and serve him in all her humility, self-denial and love, encompassing in her overall sacrifice the whole world and praying for it. Thus in the year 1212 in Assisi the Order of St. Clare or Order of Poor Sisters, or the Clarisses was founded, that represents the Second Order of St. Francis, and that is completely dedicated to contemplative life, following the Clare’s Rule, which was approved by Pope Innocent IV, i.e. Pope Urban V. Soon the Order started spreading over Italy and other European countries because Clara’s charisma and Claras’s example, on whose face and spiritual image the “radiance of Glory” was shining permanently, attracted many young girls. As early as the mid 13th century in Croatian regions convents started to be built where the spirits of Francis and Clare were blossoming. The convent in Split can be numbered among the oldest convents of the Poor Clares, being founded at the beginning of the 14th century. However, as Napoleon’s laws and decisions of the Austrian emperor Joseph II all other monasteries of the Poor Clares along the Adriatic coast and in Slovenia were abolished, the convent in Split was the only one that could withstand all trials throughout the centuries. We have two precious documents – decrees – set out in Daniel Farlati’s grandiose work Illyricum Sacrum, that refer to the founding of the convent and the consecration of the convent church. The nobleman from Split, Josip Petar, after getting terminally ill, owing to inspiration left in his last will a money bequest according to which a Poor Clare’s convent was to be built in Split where the devoted virgins would “serve the God of chastity” for all times and glorify His holy name. After the convent was built in 1308, a church was built next to it and it was consecrated by archbishop Petar IX at the beginning of the year 1311 in the presence of the whole Chapter and the citizens of Split, when he bestowed many benefits upon the convent. This took place during the pontificate of Pope Clement V (1305 – 1314), at the time when these lands were ruled by Ban Pavao Šubić, Count of Split and Trogir, master of Omiš then master of the whole of Croatia, Dalmatia and Bosnia. The first convent building was raised on the coast, near the city gates. At the time of the Venetian rule, in 1424 the convent was moved to the south-eastern part of Diocletian’s Palace. On the site of the former convent the Venetians built a fortified citadel. The convent of the Poor Clares was closely linked to the life of the city of Split, which can be proved by the fact that the city in the second half of the 13th century was divided into four city districts and one of them was named St. Clare’s district. Remaining calm and rooted into their faith in God, the Poor Clares had to undergo many demanding tribulations in the course of the watershed centuries and difficult historical events, depending on God’s providence and protection. The hardest time was the time of the great epidemics. So, in 1529, at the time of the plague in Split, all the nuns in the Benedictine monastery of St. Mary in the city died while the Poor Clares survived. Enshrined behind the walls they followed the fate of their folk and their martyrdom offering themselves as redemption of many and for their salvation – temporal and eternal. In 1783 the plague struck the Poor Clare’s convent too; three sisters died then and the convent archive was burnt down. In the 19th century, at the time of the Austrian rule, the Poor Clare nuns were forced to establish a school and teach there. In 1824 the first girls’ elementary school was thus opened in Split and following it also a teachers’ school (Scuola di Metodica e Pedagogica) and a boarding school for female pupils. These schools were exemplary and the Poor Clares have indebted the city; the abbes and headmistress, s. Terezija Riboli had the order of Emperor Francis Joseph I conferred upon her. The third convent building, the current one is situated in Lučac. The community of nuns moved to it in the year 1883. It was built owing to the endeavours of the nun, s. M. Klara Linardović and the Bishop of Split, Marko Kalođera. The building within the walls of the Diocletian’s Palace was too tight and in an unhealthy place so that the nuns died before their time. Consequently, the new building was built outside the city walls, in a free space. This place is nowadays in the very centre of the city. At the time of the Second World War four nuns of the Poor Clares founded a new convent in Samobor near Zagreb. Some among them, however, left Zagreb and went to Slovenia and founded a new monastery in Nazarje. In the year 1989 four sisters from the Split convent founded a monastery in Bosnia, in Brestovsko near Kiseljak. Otherwise, every convent is autonomous with their own authority and administration, under the jurisdiction of the bishop and under the spiritual leadership of the Franciscan brothers. Young girls at the age from 16 to thirty years of age can be accepted as members. The Poor Clare sisters in their life and work consider God as the primate in everything; their sacrifice means rites of prayer burnt for the redemption of the world, in unity with Jesus Christ’s sacrifice. The Poor Clares pray and sacrifice themselves for the salvation of the whole humankind, particularly of our people. They follow the spirituality of Francis and Clare, i.e. the Franciscan spirituality, whose common denominator is Christocentrism: the Christ of Bethlehem, Christ of the Calvary and Christ of the Eucharist. The sisters get up at midnight to pray and in harmony with the old nuns’ habit they leave for the choir, for prayers, seven times a day. They are engaged in needlework, baking host wafers and other activities. In 1975 the St. Clare convent in Split started their independent collection of ascetic-mystic works, under the leadership and initiative of sister Marija of the Most Holy Heart who is the editor of these editions. There are some hundred works of the classics of Christian spirituality published so far. Presently there are 20 Poor Clare sisters in the convent, and their abbess is s. M. Suzana Muzuković who is supported in running the convent by the so called Discretorium. Archbishop Monsignor Dr.Frane Franić often used to point out the role of this convent, mentioning that it is “the soul of the city and the soul of the soul of the religious orders”. We continue praying that it should be the City built on the mountain or like a lighthouse that should permanently stand on a height and illuminate the paths leading to the haven of eternity."-Croatia Posta

FDC from Belarus/FDC du Bélarus

1020th Anniversary of the Christening of Rus/
1020th Anniversaire du baptême de Rus

"The icon Holy Virgin of Iljinsk Chernigov, the 18th century, is from the Greek St. Catherine monastery in Kiev. Now it is kept in the collection of the National Kiev-Pechersk Historic-Cultural Preserve.
The icon Christ Pantocrator, 1678, is from St. Nicolas Church of Pinsk in Brest region. Now it is kept in the collection of the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus.
Grand Prince Vladimir from the Deesis row, the 15th century. It was in the collection of I. S. Ostroukhov. Now it is kept in the collection of the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow."-Belpost

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

FDC from Vietnam/FDC du Vietnam

Vietnam - Argentina joint stamp issue/
Timbre Emission commune Argentine Vietnam

"On the occasion of the 35th anniversary of Argentine-Vietnamese diplomatic relations, the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) specially issues the stampset: “Vietnam - Argentine Joint stamp issue” on the 25th of October 2008 at Hanoi consisting of 02 values with their denominations of 800d and 10,000d.

The stampset depicts the typical species of beautiful flowers in two countries: Lotus in Vietnam and Floss Silk Tree in Argentine issuing

- Value (2-1), denomination of 800d: Floss Silk Tree

Considered one of the most beautiful trees in the world, the Floss Silk Tree is a species of deciduous tropical plant from Argentina and Brazil. It is resistant to drought and moderate cold. It grows fast in spurts when water is abundant, and sometimes reaches more than 25m in height. Silk Floss blooms in early Fall with abandon. The older the tree, the better the flower display. And with individual trees grown from seed there are variations in the flower colors; more pink, more rose, etc. The fruits are ligneous ovoid pods, 20 cm long, which contain bean-sized black seeds surrounded by a mass of fibrous, fluffy matter reminiscent of cotton or silk.

Silk Floss Tree is cultivated as a flowering specimen tree. The seedpod silk has been used to stuff cushions.

- Value (2-2), denomination of 10,000d: Lotus

This is the typical Lotus flower in West Lake of Hanoi - Vietnam. Lotus flowers in West Lake are unique for both their color and fragrance; they are lighter pink and sweeter in fragrance.

In Viet Nam, Lotus is assigned to the set of four seasons "Tø QuÝ": Orchids, Lotus, Daisies, Apricot blossoms and is also the symbol of Summer. Lotus tree has a lot of use. The department lotus flowers are processed food featuring flavor tastes of Viet Nam such as lotus rootstock salad, sugar coats lotus seeds, lotus compote, lotus tea... Lotus tea is a common drink in Vietnam. Lotus tea made from West Lake's lotus flowers is well known with its own unique flavor.

This beautiful flower is a symbol of the refined and unyielding spirit of the Vietnamese people."-Vietnam stamp

Postcrossing ( IV)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

FDC from Malaysia/FDC de la Malaisie

Unique Flowers/Fleurs uniques

Kenerak (Goniothalamus tapis) - 30 sen

Kenerak is a shrub or small tree up to 3 metres high with ascending branches and short twigs forming conical or uneven crown. Leaves are oblong in shape, widest near apex and bluntly tipped, 12 to 24 cm long, 6 to 11 cm wide, dull yellow green. Flowers grow solitary on leaf twigs hanging from short stalks. Calyx is green in colour, and outer petals are cream white or pale yellowish and very fragrant. The fruits are ellipsoid, 1.2cm long, red in colour and turn purplish black as it ripens.

Kenerak is often planted in Malay villages, especially in Kelantan and Terengganu. The flowers are often sold in the markets.

Climbing Lily (Gloriosa superba) - 30 sen

This plant is a species of lily that climbs up to 2.5 metres in height, aided by tendril-like tips at its narrow lance-shaped leaves. The flowers are attractive and unique with narrow yellow and red curly edged petals. When it blooms, the flower turns inside out and points upwards with the stamens and pistil more or less horizontal. The plant has underground bulb which is poisonous.

The plant is cultivated in Malaysian gardens for its unique and attractive flowers. Malays call it Bunga Kembang Songsang because when the flowers are fully bloomed the petals are inverted.

Rangoon Creeper (Quisqualis indica) - 50 sen

Rangoon Creeper is a climbing shrub and planted as ornamental plant because of its unique flowers. It can also be found growing wild, escaped from cultivation. The flowers are very attractive and borne in short clusters. the flower tube is 5 cm long and the petals are white but turn red when matured. The flower blooms at bight and very fragrant.

The plant is often planted as climber on fences, on specially prepared pergola or left to climb on big trees.

Banana Shrub (Michelia figo) - 50 sen

The shrub is about 1 to 2 metres high, branched to form bush-shaped canopy. The leaves are elliptical in shape, 5 to 10 cm long, 2 to 6 cm wide with short petiole and dark green in colour. The flowers are about 3 to 4 cm in diameter when fully opened, the bracts are brownish and hairy and the petals are yellowish white with slightly purplish base. The flowers are fragrant reminiscent of banana. In Malaysia the plants seldom bear fruits.

The Chinese community use the flowers to fragrant tea and the Malays use the flowers in aromatic bath and potpourri."

FDC from Philippines/FDC des Philippines

Philippine Wild Ducks/Canards sauvages philippins

The Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), probably the best-known and most recognizable of all ducks, is a dabbling duck which breeds throughout the temperate and sub-tropical areas of North America, Europe, Asia, New Zealand (where it is currently the most common duck species), and Australia. It is strongly migratory in the northern parts of its breeding range, and winters farther south. For example, in North America it winters south to Mexico, but also regularly strays into Central America and the Caribbean between September and May.

The Green-winged Teal (GWT, Anas carolinensis) is a common and widespread duck which breeds in the northern areas of North America except on the Aleutian Islands. It was considered conspecific with the Common Teal for some time, and the issue is still being reviewed by the American Ornithologists' Union [1]; based on this the IUCN and BirdLife International (BirdLife International, 2004) do not accept it as a separate species at present. However, nearly all other authorities consider it distinct nowadays, based on behavioral (Laurie-Ahlberg & McKinney 1979), morphological (Livezey, 1991), and molecular (Johnson & Sorenson 1999) evidence (discussed by Sangster et al., 2002).

The Tufted Duck, Aythya fuligula, is a medium-sized diving duck with a population of close to one million birds.
The adult male is all black except for white flanks and a blue-grey bill. It has an obvious head tuft that gives the species its name. The adult female is brown with paler flanks, and is more easily confused with other diving ducks. In particular, some have white around the bill base which resembles the scaup species, although the white is never as extensive as in those ducks.
The only duck which is at all similar is the drake North American Ring-necked Duck, which however has a different head shape, no tuft and greyish flanks.
The Tufted Duck is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

The Cotton Pygmy Goose or the Cotton Teal,[2] Nettapus coromandelianus is a small perching duck which breeds in India, Pakistan, southeast Asia and south to northern Australia. It is locally known as Girri, Girria, Girja (Hindi); Gurgura (Etawah); Bali hans (Bengal); Bhullia hans (Bangladesh); Dandana (Orissa); Ade, Atla (Ratnagiri); Naher, Keeke, Chuwa (Nowgong, Assam); Baher, Kararhi (Sind, Pakistan).

Le Canard colvert (Anas platyrhynchos)[1] est un oiseau de l'ordre des ansériformes, de la famille des anatidés et de la sous-famille des anatinés. C'est certainement le plus connu et reconnaissable de tous les canards, du fait de l'existence de races de canards domestiques issues de cette espèce.

La sarcelle à ailes vertes (Anas carolinensis ou Anas crecca caroliensis) est un canard de la famille des Anatidae largement répandu dans toute l'Amérique du Nord en dehors des îles Aléoutiennes. Cette espèce est, selon les auteurs, une espèce proche ou une sous-espèce de la sarcelle d'hiver.

Le fuligule morillon (Aythya fuligula) est un canard plongeur de la famille des Anatidés.
C'est un canard de 40 à 47 cm de long avec une envergure de 67 à 72 cm, pesant entre 550 et 900 g, donc un peu plus petit qu'un fuligule milouin par exemple.
Le mâle a un plumage noir brillant et des flancs blancs, ainsi qu'une fine huppe noire de 5 cm et retombante. La femelle est uniformément brune avec une huppe plus courte. En vol, on les reconnaît grâce à une barre alaire blanche.

L'Anserelle de Coromandel (Nettapus coromandelianus) est un oiseau palmipède appartenant à la famille des anatidae.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

FDC from Algeria/FDC de L'Algérie

Parks and Gardens of ALGERIA/

Garden Ibn Badis (Oran):
The oldest garden of Oran is without question the walk of Létang or the hanging garden, baptized today name of Ibn Badis. This last was created in 1836 by the General De Létang who transformed the glacis Castle-Nine into a walk which bears its name.
On this platform of six hectares, with the site of the glacis northern and west of new castle, thousand trees in half-circle were planted.
This fairy-like place continuous to attract the walkers by his maritime charm and his freshness, its long palm trees, its plane trees three meters in diameter, its oaks of more than thirty meters height, its pines, its caroubiers centenaries and other eucalypti.
One finds there thickets green, bushes, flowers, jasmines, chèvrefeuilles, ivies climbing, papering the walls of the castle, of the fountains.
The garden Ibn Badis consists of alleys staged with giant dragonniers and ficus.

Jardin Ibn Badis (Oran) :
Le plus vieux jardin d’Oran est sans conteste la promenade de Létang ou le jardin suspendu, baptisé aujourd’hui du nom d’Ibn Badis. Ce dernier a été créé en 1836 par le Général De Létang qui transforma les glacis du Château-Neuf en une promenade qui porte son nom.
Sur cette plate-forme de six hectares, à l’emplacement des glacis nord et ouest de château neuf, furent plantés mille arbres en demi-cercle.
Ce lieu féerique continue d’attirer les promeneurs par son charme et sa fraîcheur maritimes, ses longs palmiers, ses platanes de trois mètres de diamètre, ses chênes de plus de trente mètres de hauteur, ses pins, ses caroubiers centenaires et autres eucalyptus.
On y trouve des bosquets verdoyants, des buissons, des fleurs, des jasmins, des chèvrefeuilles, des lierres grimpants, tapissant les murs du château, des fontaines.
Le jardin Ibn Badis est constitué d’allées étagées avec des dragonniers et ficus géants.

FDC from Japan/FDC du Japon

The World Heritage-Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine/
Patrimoine mondial de l'UNESCO-Iwami Ginzan

"The Iwami Ginzan (石見銀山, Iwami Ginzan) was a silver mine in the city of Ōda, Shimane Prefecture, on the island of Honshū, Japan. It was added to the World Heritage List in 2007.
It was developed in 1526 by Kamiya Jutei a Japanese merchant. It reached its peak production in the early 17th century of approximately 38 tons of silver a year which was then a third of world production.
Silver from the mine was used widely for coins. It was contested fiercely by warlords until the Tokugawa Shogunate won control of it in 1600 as a result of the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600. It was later secured by fences and barricaded by pine trees. Yamabuki Castle was built in the centre of the complex.
Silver production from the mine fell in the nineteenth century as it had trouble competing with mines elsewhere and it was eventually closed.

"Iwami Ginzan est le site d'une ancienne mine d'argent dans le préfecture de Shimane au Japon. Elle a été inscrite au patrimoine mondial de l'humanité en 2007 sous le nom de « Mine d’argent de Iwami Ginzan et son paysage culturel ». Le site a une superficie de 442 ha et une zone tampon de 3 221 ha."

FDC from Belgium/FDC de Belgique

Museum of the shoe in Izegem/
Musée de la chaussure à Izegem

Monday, November 3, 2008

FDC from Vietnam/FDC du Vietnam

Joint Stamps issue between Vietnam - France/
Timbre Emission commune France Vietnam

"On the 15th of October 2008, the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) issues the stampset: “Joint Stamps issue between Vietnam - France” consisting of 02 values with their denominations of 800d and 14,000d.

It is the first stampset to have been jointly issued by Vietnam and France. The stampset depicts the sceneries of Ha Long bay (in Vietnam) and Bouches de Bonifacio (in France).

- Value (2-1), denomination of 800d: Bouches de Bonifacio in France

Bonifacio is a commune at the southern tip of the island of Corsica, in theCorse-du-Sud department, SartÌne district (arrondissement), Bonifacio total (canton). Bouches de Bonifacio is located on the Mediterranean Sea with the roughly limestone and coastal further into cliffs. This is an attraction famous of France.

- Value (2-2), denomination of 14,000d : Ha Long bay in Vietnam

Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Quang Ninh province, Vietnam. The bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various sizes and shapes. Ha Long bay consists of a dense cluster of 1,969 limestone monolithic islands with rich vegetation cover and many beautiful caves. This is not only one of the attractions famous in the world but also be introduced to nominate as World's 7 Natural Wonder."-Vietnam stamp

Thursday, October 30, 2008

FDC from Belarus/FDC du Bélarus

To Victims of Holocaust/Aux victimes de l'holocauste

“Holocaust” is a word of Greek origin meaning “sacrifice by fire”. The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators in the period of 1933-1945 according to the Nazi ideology of Race. The Nazis and their collaborators created Jewish ghettos on the occupied territories. Minsk ghetto was one of the largest in Europe. About 100 000 people were killed in Minsk ghetto. It was destroyed 65 years ago.