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