Thursday, December 23, 2010

FDC from Vietnam/FDC du Vietnam

Year of the cat/année du chat

The Vietnamese zodiac is almost identical to Chinese zodiac except that the second animal is the water buffalo instead of the ox, the fourth animal is the cat instead of the rabbit The 8th animal is the goat instead of the sheep.

Monday, December 20, 2010

FDC from Austria/FDC de l'Autriche

Orient Express/Orient-Express

This stamp block is a philatelic Premiere, but is he the first joint issue of Austria and Romania. The chosen theme is "Orient Express", those legendary train connection, therefore, which once linked the two countries in a very luxurious manner. This attractive block in the background motif shows a map on which the relevant route is listed by the Paris Ostbahnhof, the Ferris Wheel and the famous Mosque Hagia Sofia in Istanbul, furthermore, the word "Orient Express" and the impressive track plate. The two brand images themselves each show historic locomotives of the Orient Express and the two drive-through cities of Salzburg and the former royal summer residence in Sinaia, Romania.
The story: In the period until the Second World War, the Orient Express was a luxury train of the "Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits, of Paris and Constantinople (now Istanbul) combined. Man wrote the 5th June 1883, when he for the first time from the station Paris East in the East drove - a feudal hotel train the first class lounge, sleeping and dining cars. In the early years the journey ended in the Romanian city of Giurgiu, travelers to Constantinople had to cross the Danube by ferry, then travel with a normal train to Varna and then take from the ship. It was not until 1888, the Orient Express runs continuously over Budapest, Belgrade and Sofia to Constantinople. The travel time on the 3186 km long route was almost 70 hours, there were local dishes and various folk performances to entertain the well-heeled passengers. Known of the Orient-Express was not only by its luxury and the audience of European high-finance and nobility, but also through some spectacular incident. Sun in 1891 brought a Greek robbers the train derailed west of Constantinople, kidnapped four men and left them free only after a substantial ransom had been paid. A few years later, an envoy of the French government, was murdered in his compartment, and even 1950, the railway at that time was long a normal D-train, a U.S. military attaché of the Eastern bloc agents was attacked and robbed.
After a checkered history in recent decades wrong end only a small remnant of the legendary service between Strasbourg - Vienna in December 2009, however, this route has been canceled, which meant the end for the Orient Express. Several novels and famous movie was certainly not insignificant in this train to glory. On behalf of many others here are Agatha Christie's "Murder on the Orient Express" and the James Bond film "From Russia with Love" is mentioned.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

FDC from Japan/FDC du Japon

The 60th Anniversary of Enforcement of the Local Autonomy Law - Aomori Prefecture/
Le 60ème Anniversaire de Mise en vigueur de la Loi d'Autonomie Locale - la Préfecture d'Aomori

Aomori Prefecture (青森県 Aomori-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Tōhoku Region. The capital is the city of Aomori.

Aomori Prefecture came into existence in 1871. Aomori Town was established in 1889. The town was incorporated as a city in 1898 with a population of 28,000. On May 3, 1910 a fire broke out in the Yasukata district. Fanned by strong winds, the fire quickly devastated the whole city. The conflagration claimed 26 lives and injured a further 160 residents. It destroyed 5,246 houses and burnt 19 storage sheds and 157 warehouses.

At 10:30 p.m. on July 28, 1945 a squadron of American B29 bombers bombed over 90% of the city.

Radio Aomori (RAB) made its first broadcast in 1951. Four years later, the first fish auctions were held. 1958 saw the completion of the Municipal Fish Market as well as the opening of the Citizen's Hospital. In the same year, the Tsugaru Line established a rail connection with Minmaya Village at the tip of the peninsula.

Various outlying towns and villages were incorporated into the growing city and with the absorption of Nonai Village in 1962, Aomori became the largest city in the prefecture.

In March 1985, after 23 years of labor and a financial investment of 700 billion yen, the Seikan Tunnel finally linked the islands of Honshū and Hokkaidō, thereby becoming the longest tunnel of its kind in the world.[citation needed] Almost exactly three years later, on March 13, railroad service was inaugurated on the Tsugaru Kaikyo Line.

That same day saw the end of the Seikan Ferry service. During their 80 years of service, the familiar ferries of the Seikan line sailed between Aomori and Hakodate some 720,000 times, carrying 160 million passengers.

In April 1993, Aomori Public College opened. In August 1994, Aomori City made an "Education, Culture and Friendship Exchange Pact" with Kecskemet in Hungary. One year later a similar treaty was signed with Pyongtaek in South Korea, and cultural exchange activities began with exchanges of woodblock prints and paintings.

In April 1995, Aomori Airport began offering regular international air service to Seoul, South Korea, and Khabarovsk, Russia.

In June 2007, four North Korean defectors reached Aomori Prefecture, after having been at sea for six days, marking the second known case ever where defectors have successfully reached Japan by boat.

Aomori Prefecture is the northernmost prefecture on Honshū and faces Hokkaidō across the Tsugaru Strait. It borders Akita and Iwate in the south. Oma, at the northwestern tip of the axe-shaped Shimokita Peninsula, is the northernmost point of Honshū. The Shimokita and Tsugaru Peninsulas enclose Mutsu Bay. Between those peninsulas lies the Natsudomari Peninsula, the northern end of the Ōu Mountains. The three peninsulas are prominently visible in the prefecture's symbol, a stylized map.

Lake Towada, a crater lake, straddles Aomori's boundary with Akita.

La préfecture d'Aomori (青森県, Aomori-ken) occupe l'extrême nord de l'île de Honshū, la principale île du Japon. Elle fait face à l'île de Hokkaidō.

La préfecture d’Aomori fut fondée en 1871. Son chef-lieu, Aomori, fut établi en 1889 et constituée comme ville en 1898. Elle était alors peuplée de 28 000 habitants.

Le 3 mai 1910, un incendie éclata dans le district Yasukata et dévasta toute la ville en moins de 4 heures. L'incendie fit 26 morts, 160 blessés et détruisit 5.246 habitations.

À la fin de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, le 28 juillet 1945, un escadron de bombardiers américains survola Aomori et bombarda plus de 90% de la ville en moins de deux heures.

Radio Aomori fit sa première diffusion en 1951.

En 1955 sont tenues les premières criées de poissons, et 1958 célébra l'achèvement du Marché Municipal aux Poissons ainsi que l'ouverture de l'Hôpital Municipal. Cette même année, la ligne Tsugaru établit une connexion ferroviaire avec le village Minmaya, à la pointe de la péninsule.

À la même époque, différentes villes et villages isolés furent incorporés à la ville en pleine croissance. L'absorption du village de Nonai en 1962 fit d’Aomori la plus grande ville de la préfecture.

En mars 1985, après 23 ans de travail et un investissement financier de 700 milliards de yens, le tunnel du Seikan relia enfin les îles de Honshū et Hokkaidō, devenant ainsi le plus long tunnel de son genre du monde.

En avril 1993, les efforts de la ville d'Aomori et d'un groupe de six autres collectivités locales furent récompensés par l'ouverture du Lycée Public d’Aomori.

En août 1994, la ville d'Aomori établit un "Pacte amical d’éducation, de culture et d'échange" avec Kecskemet en Hongrie, puis l’année suivante avec la ville Pyongtaek en Corée du Sud. L’échange culturel débuta par des échanges d'estampes et de peintures.

En avril 1995, l'aéroport d'Aomori devient le premier de la région du Tōhoku à offrir des services aériens internationaux réguliers à destination de Séoul en Corée du Sud et de Khabarovsk en Russie.

En juin 2007, quatre réfugiés nord-coréens ont atteint la préfecture d'Aomori après six jours en mer, devenant ainsi le deuxième cas officiellement connu où des réfugiés réussirent à atteindre le Japon par bateau.

La préfecture d’Aomori se situe à l’extrême nord de Honshū, région également appelée le Tōhoku.

Elle est bordée au sud par les préfectures d'Akita et d'Iwate, et au nord par la baie de Mutsu et le détroit de Tsugaru.

Elle possède deux péninsules, Shimokita et Tsugaru.

Le lac Towada, un lac de caldeira, longe les frontières sud de la préfecture partagées avec Akita.

La préfecture compte 10 villes et 8 districts comprenant un total de 22 bourgs et 8 villages.

Monday, November 29, 2010

FDC from Japan/FDC du Japon

New Year's Greeting Stamp For 2011(Year of Rabbit)/
Timbre de voeux du Nouvel An pour 2011(année de lapin)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

FDC from Taiwan/FDC du Taiwan

Ancient Chinese Art Treasures Postage Stamps (Issue of 2010)/
Le Chinois ancien Art Chérit des Timbres (l'Édition de 2010)

To introduce the beauty of ancient Chinese artifacts, Chunghwa Post is issuing another set of four stamps and a souvenir sheet on artifacts from the National Palace Museum collection. Designed by Arteck Creative Consultants, Inc., and printed by China Color Printing Co., Ltd. the stamps will be released on November 18, 2010. The designs follow:

 1. Gilt-copper Censer with Turquoise Inlays, Qing dynasty (TWD5): The surface of this round ding vessel is decorated with cloud and key fret patterns, while its underside and its round feet are adorned with banana leaf patterns, with turquoise inlays between the leaves. There is a seven-character line in relief under the rim which reads, “Made during the reign of the Qing Emperor Qianlong.”

2. Five Altar Offerings in Gilt Copper-Censer, Qing dynasty (TWD5): This ding vessel, which is shaped like a six-petal flower, is covered with key fret patterns and lotus flower designs. The lid and its knob (which has a dragon design) feature openwork to let incense smoke out.

3. Five Altar Offerings in Gilt Copper with Glass and Enamel Inlays-Censer, Qing dynasty (TWD10): The lid of this octagon-shaped ding vessel features openwork. There is a lion on the top of the lid whose front foot is playing with a ball. Its lid, body, handles and four hoof-shaped feet are decorated with white material, while the lotus-petal patterns on its body and the lotus on its handles are filled with blue enamel.

4. Five Altar Offerings in Gilt Copper with White Jade, Turquoise, and Glass Inlays-Censer, Qing dynasty (TWD25): The lid and body of this square ding vessel are decorated with pieces of white jade inlay with twine-patterned openwork carving. The shoulder of the vessel is inlaid with lotus petals carved out of turquoise and pieces of blue glass. The vessel’s handles and four feet are inlaid with turquoise.

5. Souvenir sheet: (TWD45): It contains the above-mentioned four stamps. The marginal inscription of the sheet features a Qing Dynasty porcelain Buddha in famille rose and Gold Enamel from the National Palace Museum collection, against a background of partial texts of the Diamond Sutra.

Note: The covers of image aren't official FDC. They're print for official use of National Palace Museum.

Friday, November 12, 2010

FDC from Latvia/FDC de la Lettonie

Birds of Latvia/Aves de Letonia

0.35LVL: The European Roller
0.98LVL: The Eurasian Eagle-owl

The European Roller, Coracias garrulus, is the only member of the roller family of birds to breed in Europe. Its overall range extends into the Middle East and Central Asia and Morocco.

There are two subspecies: the nominate garrulus, which breeds from in north Africa from Morocco east to Tunisia, southwest and south-central Europe and Asia Minor east through northwest Iran to southwest Siberia; and semenowi, which breeds in Iraq and Iran (except northwest) east to Kashmir and north to Turkmenistan, south Kazakhstan and northwest China (west Xinjiang). The European Roller is a long-distance migrant, wintering in southern Africa in two distinct regions, from Senegal east to Cameroon and from Ethiopia west to Congo and south to South Africa.

It is a bird of warm, dry, open country with scattered trees, preferring lowland open countryside with patches of oak Quercus forest, mature pine Pinus woodland with heathery clearings, orchards, mixed farmland, river valleys, and plains with scattered thorny or leafy trees. It winters primarily in dry wooded savanna and bushy plains, where it typically nests in tree holes.

The European Roller is a stocky bird, the size of a Jackdaw at 29–32 cm in length with a 52–58 cm wingspan; it is mainly blue with an orange-brown back. Rollers often perch prominently on trees, posts or overhead wires, like giant shrikes, whilst watching for the large insects, small reptiles, rodents and frogs that they eat.

This species is striking in its strong direct flight, with the brilliant blue contrasting with black flight feathers. Sexes are similar, but the juvenile is a drabber version of the adult.

The display of this bird is a lapwing-like display, with the twists and turns that give this species its English name. It nests in an unlined tree or cliff hole, and lays up to six eggs.

The call is a harsh crow-like sound. It gives a raucous series of calls when nervous.

Some populations migrate to Africa through India. A collision with an aircraft over the Arabian Sea has been recorded.

The European Roller has a large global population, including an estimated 100,000-220,000 individuals in Europe. However, following a moderate decline during 1970-1990, the species has continued to decline especially in Europe, with overall European exceeding 30% in three generations (15 years). In Estonia the 50-100 pairs in 1998 have reduced to no known breeding pairs in 2004; in Latvia and Lithuania populations have decreased from several thousand of pairs in the 1970s to under 30 pairs in 2004. In Russia it has disappeared from the northern part of its range. However, there is no evidence of any declines in Central Asia.

The declines in the European population has resulted in its Red List status being upgraded from Least Concern to Near Threatened in 2005. Threats include persecution on migration in some Mediterranean countries and hundreds, perhaps thousands, are shot for food in Oman every spring. Use of pesticides reduces food availability, and the species is sensitive to changing farming and forestry practices.

The Eurasian Eagle-owl (Bubo bubo) is a species of eagle owl resident in much of Europe and Asia. It is also one of the largest types of owls.

The Eagle Owl is a large and powerful bird, smaller than the Golden Eagle but larger than the Snowy Owl. It is sometimes titled the world's largest owl, but so is the Blakiston's Fish Owl, which is slightly bigger on average.The Eagle Owl has a wingspan of up to 138–200 cm (55–79 in) and measures 58–73 cm (23–29 in) long. Females weigh 1.75-4.2 kg (3.9-9.4 lbs) and males weigh 1.5-3.2 kg (3.3-7 lbs). In comparison, the Barn Owl weighs about 500 grams (1.1 lbs). It mainly feeds on small mammals, but can kill prey up to the size of foxes and young deer (up to 10 kg/22 lb), if taken by surprise. Larger prey (over 3 kg/7 lb) is consumed on the ground which leaves the bird vulnerable (for example to foxes). It is said to be routinely able to swallow a hedgehog whole.

The call of the Eagle Owl is a deep resonant “ooh-hu” with emphasis on the first syllable for the male, and a more high-pitched uh-Hu for the female (in German and Hungarian, the name of this bird is "Uhu" and the Dutch name is “Oehoe”). Each member of an Eagle Owl population can be identified by means of its vocalizations.

The size, ear tufts and orange eyes make this a distinctive species. It has a strong direct flight. The ear tufts of males are more upright than those of females.

The horned owls are a part of the larger grouping of owls known as the typical owls, Strigidae, which contains most species of owl. The other grouping is the barn owls, Tytonidae.

The Eagle Owl is largely nocturnal and is found in mountains and forests with cliffs and rocky areas, usually nesting on cliff ledges. They live for around 20 years although like many other bird species in captivity they can live much longer, perhaps up to 60 years.
In winter

Although Eagle Owls are usually considered to be a bird of the wilderness, they have been observed hunting vermin on open landfills in Northern Europe. This poses a certain risk for the owls as any pollutants the rats they feed on have ingested may be enriched in the owls. Eagle Owls that hunt on landfills have also sometimes been seen flying with waste entangled around their feet.

Eagle Owls have also been observed living in European cities. Since 2005, at least five couples have nested in Helsinki.The number is expected to increase due to the growth of a wild hare population in Helsinki. (Finns do not make a distinction between hares and rabbits. Thus it is sometimes erroneously reported that Eagle owls are feeding on wild rabbits. Hares are extremely common in Helsinki less so rabbits.) In June 2007, an Eagle Owl nicknamed 'Bubi' landed in the crowded Helsinki Olympic Stadium during the European Football Championship qualification match between Finland and Belgium. The match was interrupted for six minutes. After tiring of the match, following Jonathan Johansson's opening goal for Finland, the bird left the stadium. Finland's national football team have had the nickname Huuhkajat (Finnish for Eurasian Eagle-owls) ever since. The owl was named "Helsinki Citizen of the Year" in December 2007.. The best place to see Eagle owl for the tourist in Helsinki is in the Kamppi area. Try the top of the Forum shopping centre between the main Railway station and Kamppi Metro

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

FDC from Taiwan/FDC du Taiwan

2010 Taipei International Flora Exposition/2010 Taipei Exposition de Flore internationale

The 2010 Taipei International Flora Expo, which will be held from November 6, 2010 to April 25, 2011, is the first international horticultural exposition ever held in Taiwan recognized by the International Association of Horticultural Producers. To mark this grand occasion, Chunghwa Post is releasing two souvenir sheets.
The expo’s logo is an orchid blossom made up of five human figures. Each of the five figures represents a separate continent and has a different color—red, orange, blue, green or purple. Inspired by the seasons of nature, the mascots of the expo are fairies representing five flowers: the lily, the sun flower, the moth orchid, the hydrangea, and the tulip. One of the souvenir sheets comprises nine NT$5 stamps, each depicting a species of orchid, for a total value of NT$45. The other souvenir sheet comprises ten NT$5 stamps, for a total value of NT$50. Each of the mascots is represented by two stamps. The logo of the expo can be found in each stamp and in marginal inscriptions of both sheets.
A stamp folio – “Blooming Flowers Stamp Folio” and two framed-shaped holders with one souvenir sheet separately – “Blooming Orchids” and “Dancing Flowers” will be released at the same time. In addition to two souvenir sheets, the stamp folio contains one sheet of stickers with floral design as a compliment.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

FDC from Bosnia and Herzegovina (Republika Srpska)/FDC de la Bosnie-Herzégovine (La République serbe de Bosnie)

Flora of Republic of Srpska - protected kinds of Sutjeska Park/
Flora de la República de Srpska - clases protegidas de Parque de Sutjeska

0.70 BAM:Trollius Europaeus
0.70 BAM:Pancicia Serbica
0.70 BAM:Edraianthus Sutjeska
0.70 BAM:alpine rose

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

FDC from Japan/FDC du Japon

The 60th Anniversary of Enforcement of the Local Autonomy Law - Fukui Prefecture/
Le 60ème Anniversaire de Mise en vigueur de la Loi d'Autonomie Locale - la Préfecture de Fukui

Fukui Prefecture (福井県 Fukui-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Fukui.


The Kitadani Dinosaur Quarry, on the Sugiyama River within the city limits of Katsuyama, has yielded the Fukuiraptor kitadaniensis and Fukuisaurus tetoriensis as well as an unnamed dromaeosaurid and a new sauropod. It also shows the coexistence of pterosaurs and birds, in the forms of comingled tracks.


Fukui originally consisted of the old provinces of Wakasa and Echizen, before the prefecture was formed in 1871.
During the Edo period, the daimyō of the region was surnamed Matsudaira, and was a descendant of Tokugawa Ieyasu.


The province faces the Sea of Japan, and has a western part (formerly Wakasa) which is a narrow plain between the mountains and the sea, and a larger eastern part (formerly Echizen) with wider plains including the capital and most of the population. The mountain side of the eastern part has much snow in winter.

※Fukui is home to Maruoka Castle, the second oldest standing castle in Japan after Inuyama Castle. It was built in 1576.
※Eiheiji is a serene temple offering training and education to Buddhist monks. Founded by Dogen Zenji in 1244, Eiheiji is located on a plot of land of about 330,000 m².
※Many dinosaur fossils have been excavated in Fukui and they can been seen at the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum.
※Residents of Fukui Prefecture have a distinctive accent, Fukui-ben.
※Fukui has long been a center for papermaking in Japan (along with Kyoto). Its Echizen Papermaking Cooperative is a world-famous collection of papermakers making paper in the traditional Echizen style.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

FDC from Latvia/FDC de la Lettonie

20th Anniversary of Declaration of May 4th, 1990/
Le 20ème Anniversaire de Déclaration du 4 mai 1990

In the second half of 1980s Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev started to introduce political and economic reforms in the Soviet Union, called glasnost and Perestroika. In the summer of 1987 the first large demonstrations were held in Riga at the Freedom Monument- a symbol of independence. In the summer of 1988 a national movement, coalescing in the Popular Front of Latvia, was opposed by the Interfront. The Latvian SSR, along with the other Baltic Republics was allowed greater autonomy, and in 1988 the old pre-war Flag of Latvia was allowed to be used, replacing the Soviet Latvian flag as the official flag in 1990.

In 1989, the Supreme Soviet of the USSR adopted a resolution on the "Occupation of the Baltic states", in which it declared that the occupation was "not in accordance with law," and not the "will of the Soviet people". Pro-independence Popular Front of Latvia candidates gained a two-thirds majority in the Supreme Council in the March 1990 democratic elections. On May 4, 1990, the Supreme Soviet of the Latvian SSR adopted the Declaration On the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia, Latvian SSR was renamed Republic of Latvia.

However, the central power in Moscow continued to regard Latvia as Soviet republic in 1990–1991. In January 1991, Soviet political and military forces tried unsuccessfully to overthrow the Republic of Latvia authorities by occupying the central publishing house in Riga and establishing a Committee of National Salvation to usurp governmental functions. During the transitional period Moscow maintained many central Soviet state authorities in Latvia.
Barricade in Riga to prevent the Soviet Army from reaching the Latvian Parliament, July 1991.

In spite of this, seventy-three percent of all Latvian residents confirmed their strong support for independence on March 3, 1991, in a nonbinding advisory referendum. A large number of ethnic Russians also voted for the proposition. The Popular Front of Latvia had advocated that all permanent residents be eligible for Latvian citizenship. However, universal citizenship for all permanent residents was not adopted subsequently; not all those who had voted in support of independence received citizenship in the new Latvian state and became non-citizens. (The majority of non-citizens have since become naturalized citizens.) The Republic of Latvia declared the end of the transitional period and restored full independence on August 21, 1991 in the aftermath of the failed Soviet coup attempt.

Friday, September 24, 2010

FDC from Japan/FDC du Japon

Anime - Chibi Maruko-chan

Chibi Maruko-chan (ちびまる子ちゃん) is a shōjo manga series by Momoko Sakura, later adapted into an anime TV series by Nippon Animation, which originally aired on Fuji Television from January 7, 1990 to September 27, 1992. The series depicts the simple, everyday life of a little girl nicknamed Maruko and her family in suburban mid-seventies Japan. The series is set in the former city of Shimizu, now part of Shizuoka City, birthplace of its author.

The first story under the title "Chibi Maruko-chan" was published in the August 1986 edition of the shōjo manga magazine Ribon. Other semi-autobiographical stories by the author had appeared in Ribon and Ribon Original in 1984 and 1985, and were included in the first "Chibi Maruko-chan" tankōbon in 1987. The author first began writing and submitting strips in her final year of senior high school, although Shueisha (the publisher of Ribon and Ribon Original) did not decide to run them until over a year later. The author's intent was to write "essays in manga form". Many stories are inspired by incidents from the author's own life, and some characters are based on her family and friends. The nostalgic, honest and thoughtful tone of the strip led to its becoming popular among a wider audience.

The Chibi Maruko-chan series has spawned numerous games, animated films and merchandising, as well as a second TV series running from 1995 to the present. Maruko's style and themes are sometimes compared to the classic comic Sazae-san. In 1989, the manga tied to receive the Kodansha Manga Award for shōjo. As of 2006, the collected volumes of the manga had sold more than 31 million copies in Japan, making it the fifth best-selling shōjo manga ever.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

FDC from Vietnam/FDC du Vietnam

Fishing Cat/Chat viverrin

The Fishing Cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) is a medium-sized cat. Its fur has an olive-grey color with dark spots arranged stripe-like running along the length of the body. The face has a distinctly flat-nosed appearance. The size varies between locations. They are stocky of build with medium short legs, and a short muscular tail of one half to one third of the length of the rest of the animal. As the name implies, fish is the main prey of this cat, of which it hunts about 10 different species. It also hunts other aquatic animals such as frogs or crayfish, and terrestrial animals such as rodents and birds.

Like its closest relative, the Leopard Cat, the Fishing Cat lives along rivers, streams and mangrove swamps. It is well adapted to this habitat, being an eager and skilled swimmer.

Fishing Cat is a rare animal listed in the Vietnam Red Book. The International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN lists the Fishing Cat as a species vulnerable to extinction. In Vietnam, they are found in Cao B»ng, Kh¸nh Hßa, Kiªn Giang provinces and Hå ChÝ Minh City.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

FDC from North Korea/FDC de la Corée du Nord

Monumental Edifices/Édifices Monumentaux

Many monumental buildings which are embodied with people-orienied character and are perfect in architectural point of view sprouted in the DPRK under the wise leadership of Leader Kim Jong Il, the genius of creation and construction, thus actively contributing to the improvement of material and cultural well-being of the people.
The stamp show the Okryu Restaurant, Taedongmun Cinema, Chongryu Restaurant, the Electronic library of Kim Chaek Univ. of Technology and Pyongyang Grand Theatre, all of which underwent the thorough refreshing of appearance as the monumental buildings in Songun area.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

FDC from Russia/FDC de la russie

The Solovetsky Islands/Îles Solovki

The Solovetsky Islands (Russian: Солове́цкие острова́, Соловки́) are located in the Onega Bay of the White Sea, Russia. The islands are administrated from Arkhangelsk as Solovetsky District and are served by the Solovki Airport. Area: 347 km². Population: 968 (2002 Census); 1,317 (1989 Census).


This archipelago consists of six islands known collectively as the Solovki:

    Bolshoy Solovetsky Island – 246 km².
    Anzersky Island (Anzer) – 47 km².
    Bolshaya Muksalma – 17 km².
    Malaya Muksalma – 0,57 km².
    Bolshoy Zayatsky – 1,25 km².
    Maly Zayatsky – 1,02 km².

The shores of the islands are very indented. They are formed of granites and gneiss. The relief of the islands is hilly (the highest point is 107 m). Most of the Solovetsky Islands are covered with Scots Pine and Norway Spruce forests, which are partially swampy. There are numerous lakes, which were joined by monks so as to form a network of canals.

One interesting feature of these islands is stone labyrinths and other stone settings, especially the Stone labyrinths of Bolshoi Zayatsky Island. Such labyrinths were typical for Northern Europe, but most have perished and now Solovetsky Islands have some of the best remaining examples.


Historically the islands have been the setting of the famous Russian Orthodox Solovetsky Monastery complex. It was founded in the second quarter of the 15th century by two monks from the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery. By the end of the 16th century, the abbey had emerged as one of the wealthiest landowners and most influential religious centres in Russia.

The existing stronghold and its major churches were erected in stone during the early reign of Ivan the Terrible at the behest of St. Philip of Moscow. At the onset of the Schism of the Russian Church, the monks staunchly stuck to the faith of their fathers and expelled the tsar's representatives from the Solovki, precipitating the eight-year-long siege of the islands by the forces of Tsar Alexis.
"Bombardment of the Solovetsky Monastery by the Royal Navy during the Crimean War". A lubok (popular print) from 1868.

Throughout the imperial period of Russian history, the monastery was renowned as a strong fortress which repelled foreign attacks during the Livonian War (16th century), Time of Troubles (17th century), the Crimean War (19th century), and the Russian Civil War (20th century).

Labor camp

After the October Revolution, the islands attained some notoriety as the site of the first Soviet prison camp. The camp was inaugurated as a "detention camp" in 1921, while Lenin was still at the helm of Soviet Russia. It was transformed into a prison in 1929 and was closed ten years later, on the eve of the World War II. The Soviet government realised the islands' strategic importance, and by the beginning of the war, there was a naval base of the Soviet Northern Fleet.

In 1974, the Solovetsky Islands were designated a historical and architectural museum and a natural reserve of the USSR. In 1992, they were inscribed on the World Heritage List "as an outstanding example of a monastic settlement in the inhospitable environment of northern Europe which admirably illustrates the faith, tenacity, and enterprise of later medieval religious communities".Today, the Solovki are seen as a major tourist magnet in the orbit of the Russian North. One can get to the islands either by ship from Kem or by plane from Arkhangelsk.

Les Îles Solovetski (en russe : Солове́цкие острова́), connues également sous les noms de Solovki ou Solovetsk, forment un archipel au nord-ouest de la Russie dans la mer Blanche. Situées dans la baie d'Onega, les îles sont administrées par l'oblast d'Arkhangelsk. Leur superficie totale est de 347 km2 pour une population de 968 habitants en 2002. L'archipel comprend six îles dont les plus grandes sont Solovetski, Anzerski, Bolchaïa Mouksalma et Malaïa Mouksalma). Il est célèbre pour le monastère de Solovetski du XVe siècle et son ancien camp de travail soviétique, précurseur de l'organisation du Goulag. En 1974, les îles devinrent une réserve naturelle protégée : l'archipel, son patrimoine architectural comme son histoire qui en fait un lieu de mémoire privilégié de la Terreur stalinienne, furent l'un des premiers sites russes à être inscrits sur la liste du patrimoine mondial de l'UNESCO en 1992.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

FDC from North Korea/FDC de la Corée du Nord

Eternal Sun of Juche/Sol eterno de Juche

12 KPW: Water color painting "The great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung drawing the brush into our party's emblem.
50 KPW: Oil painting "First military flag"
70 KPW: Oil painting "Birth"
140 KPW: Korean painting "Every field with bumper harvest"

Sunday, August 22, 2010

FDC from North Korea/FDC de la Corée du Nord

70th anniversary of Victory in the battle in Musan Area/
Le 70ème anniversaire de Victoire dans la bataille dans la Région Musan

Friday, August 13, 2010

FDC from Russia/FDC de la russie

50th Anniversary of Ice-breaker’s Fleet of Russia/
Le 50ème Anniversaire de la Flotte de Brise-glace de la Russie

7 RUR: Ice-breaker "Lenin".
8 RUR: Ice-breaker "Taimyr".
9 RUR: Ice-breaker "Yamal".
10 RUR: Ice-breaker "50 Let Pobedy".

NS Lenin is a Soviet icebreaker launched in 1957, and is both the world's first nuclear powered surface ship and the first nuclear powered civilian vessel. Lenin was put into operation in 1959 and officially decommissioned in 1989.
In the later configuration (two nuclear reactors), the reactors provided steam for four Kirov turbines. These were connected to generators, which powered three sets of electric motors to drive the ship's three propellers.
When launched in 1957, Lenin was powered by three OK-150 reactors.
In February 1965, there was a loss of coolant accident. After being shut down for refueling, the coolant was removed from the number two reactor before the spent fuel had been removed. As a result, some of the fuel elements melted or deformed inside the reactor. This was discovered when the spent elements were being unloaded for storage and disposal. 124 fuel assemblies (about 60% of the total) were stuck in the reactor core. It was decided to remove the fuel, control grid, and control rods as a unit for disposal; they were placed in a special cask, solidified, stored for two years, and dumped in Tsivolki Bay (near the Novaya Zemlya archipelago) in 1967.
Monument of the icebreaker "Lenin" in memorial to Conquerors of the Arctic in Murmansk
The second accident was a cooling system leak which occurred in 1967, shortly after refueling. Finding the leak required breaking through the concrete and metal biological shield with sledgehammers. Once the leak was found, it became apparent that the sledgehammer damage could not be repaired; subsequently, all three reactors were removed, and replaced by two OK-900 reactors. This was completed in the Spring of 1970.
Details of these accidents were not widely available until after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Taymyr (sometimes spelled Taimyr) is a shallow-draft nuclear powered icebreaker, and the first of four similar vessels. She was built in 1989 for the Soviet Union in Helsinki, at the Finnish shipyard Wärtsilä, by order of the Murmansk Shipping Co.
The Taymyr was delivered to Russia for the installation of the reactor system. It has a nuclear-turbo-electric reactor giving up to 50,000 hp. This shallow-draft icebreaker is used mainly for clearing rivers, including their mouths and estuaries of ice and opening channels in order to make winter navigation possible.
This icebreaker and its sister ship Vaygach belong to a type known as Taymyr-class River Icebreakers.
The Call sign of Taymyr is UEMM.

The NS Yamal (Russian: Яма́л) is a Russian Arktika class nuclear powered icebreaker operated by the Murmansk Shipping Company. It is named after the Yamal Peninsula in Northwest Siberia; the name means End of the Land in Nenets.
Laid down in Leningrad in 1986, and launched in October 1992, after the end of communism in Russia, she never filled her designed role of keeping shipping lanes open. She has always carried passengers on arctic excursions. Yamal took an excursion to the North Pole to celebrate the Millennium. Yamal is the 12th surface ship ever to reach the north pole.[citation needed]
The Yamal is equipped with a double hull. The outer hull is 48 mm thick where ice is met and 25 mm elsewhere and has a polymer coating to reduce friction. There is water ballast between the inner and outer hulls which can be shifted in order to aid icebreaking. Icebreaking is also assisted by an air bubbling system which can deliver 24 m³/s of air from jets 9 m below the surface. The Yamal can break ice while making way either forwards or backwards.
Yamal is one of the Russian "Arctic" family of icebreakers, the most powerful icebreakers in the world. These ships must cruise in cold water to cool their reactors, so they cannot pass through the tropics to undertake voyages in the Southern hemisphere.[1]
Yamal carries one helicopter and several Zodiac boats. Radio and satellite communications systems are installed which can provide navigation, telephone, fax, and email services. Amenities include a large dining room (capable of holding all 100 passengers in one sitting), a library, passenger lounge, auditorium, volleyball court, gymnasium, heated indoor swimming pool, a sauna, and an infirmary. She is equipped with 50 passenger cabins and suites, all with toilets, exterior windows, a television, and a desk.

NS 50 Let Pobedy (Russian: 50 лет Победы), translated as 50 Years of Victory or Fiftieth Anniversary of Victory, is a Russian Arktika class nuclear powered icebreaker, the largest in the world as of 2007.
Construction on project no. 10521 started on October 4, 1989 at the Baltic Works in Leningrad (currently Saint Petersburg), USSR. Originally the ship was named NS Ural. Work was halted in 1994 for lack of funds, so that the actual fiftieth anniversary of Victory Day, in 1995, found the ship in an abandoned state. Construction was restarted in 2003.
On 30 November 2004, a fire broke out on the ship. All workers aboard the vessel had to be evacuated while the fire crews battled the fire for some 20 hours before getting it under control; one worker was sent to the hospital. There was no threat of radioactive contamination as the nuclear reactor did not yet have fuel inside.
She was finally completed in the beginning of 2007, after the 60th Anniversary. The icebreaker sailed into the Gulf of Finland for two weeks of sea trials on February 1, 2007.
Upon completing sea trials, the icebreaker returned to St-Petersburg Baltic shipyard and started preparations for her maiden voyage to Murmansk. The new ship showed superior characteristics for an icebreaker, such as exceptional maneuverability and a top speed of 21.4 knots (39.6 km/h).
She arrived at her homeport Murmansk on April 11, 2007.
The icebreaker is an upgrade of the Arktika-class, the most powerful icebreakers ever built. The 159.60 m (524 ft) long and 20.0 m (66 ft) wide vessel, with a displacement of 25840 metric tons, is designed to break through ice up to 2.8 meters thick. She has a 140-man crew.
50 Years Since Victory is also an experimental project; for the first time in history of the Russian icebreakers it used a spoon-shaped bow. As predicted by the ship's designers, such a shape increases the efficiency of the ship's efforts in breaking the ice. The icebreaker is equipped with an all-new digital automated control system. The biological shielding complex was heavily modernized and re-certified by the State Commission. A new ecological compartment was created.
The ship has an athletic/exercise facility, a swimming pool, a library, a restaurant, a massage facility, and a music salon at the crew's disposal.
A group of eclipse chasers has used the vessel to observe the eclipse of August 1, 2008. They departed from Murmansk on July 21, 2008 and reached the North Pole on July 25, 2008, which sets a speed record for the ship (the trip lasted 4 days instead of 7).

Saturday, July 31, 2010

FDC from Japan/FDC du Japon

The 60th Anniversary of Enforcement of the Local Autonomy Law - Gifu Prefecture/
Le 60ème Anniversaire de Mise en vigueur de la Loi d'Autonomie Locale - la Préfecture de Gifu

Gifu Prefecture (岐阜県, Gifu-ken) is a prefecture located in the Chūbu region of central Japan. Its capital is the city of Gifu. Located in the center of Japan, it has long played an important part as the crossroads of Japan, connecting the east to the west through such routes as the Nakasendō. During the Sengoku period, many people referred to Gifu by saying, "control Gifu and you control Japan."

The land area that makes up modern-day Gifu became part of the Yamato Court around the middle of the fourth century. Because it is in the middle of the island of Honshū, it has been the site of many decisive battles throughout Japan's history, the oldest major one being the Jinshin War in 672, which led to the establishment of Emperor Temmu as the 40th emperor of Japan.

The land area of Gifu Prefecture consists of the old provinces of Hida and Mino, as well as smaller parts of Echizen and Shinano. The name of the prefecture derives from its capital city, Gifu, which was named by Oda Nobunaga during his campaign to unify all of Japan in 1567.The first character used comes from Qishan (岐山), a legendary mountain from which most of China was unified, whereas the second character comes from Qufu (曲阜), the birthplace of Confucius. Nobunaga chose those characters because he wanted to unify all of Japan and he wanted to be viewed as a great mind.

Historically, the prefecture served as the center of swordmaking in all of Japan, with Seki being known for making the best swords in Japan. More recently, its strengths have been in fashion (primarily in the city of Gifu) and aerospace engineering (Kakamigahara).

On October 28, 1891, the present-day city of Motosu was the epicenter for the Mino-Owari Earthquake, the largest earthquake to ever hit Japan. The earthquake, estimated at 8.0 earthquake, left a huge cleft in the ground that can still be seen today.

Gifu (岐阜県, Gifuken) est une préfecture du Japon, située au centre de l'île de Honshu. Le nom Gifu tire son origine d'un mont chinois et a été choisi par Oda Nobunaga qui y construisit son château.

À l'époque féodale, le territoire actuel de la préfecture correspondait à la province de Mino (美濃) pour sa partie sud et celle de Hida pour sa partie nord.

Hida, province montagneuse, était « la principale des provinces à l'est », protégée également par Fuwa no seki (不破関) construit au mont Ibuki.

Sur le territoire de Mino se trouvait le plus élevé des châteaux à Iwamura, à plus de 700 mètres d'altitude. Il surplombait le brouillard qui règne sur les environs, mais est rasé au début de l'ère Meiji pour effacer les traces de l'ancien régime. La province de Mino est également connue pour sa production d'agar-agar (une gélatine fabriquée à partir d'algues).

Pendant la période Sengoku, Saito Dosan et Oda Nobunaga ont régné. Durant la période Edo, le shogun régnait directement.

En 1600 le combat de Sekigahara s'y déroula.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

FDC from Russia/FDC de la russie

Battle of Poltava/Bataille de Poltava

Battle of Poltava: The turning point in the Northern War (1700–21) between Sweden and Russia. When Hetman Ivan Mazepa learned that Tsar Peter I intended to abolish the autonomy of the Hetman state, he began secret negotiations with Charles XII of Sweden to ensure that Ukraine would not be annexed by Poland in the event of a Swedish victory. After the main Swedish army entered Ukraine, Mazepa openly sided with Charles against Peter. The entire matter was complicated by the fact that the Swedish force that was to have marched directly on Moscow had unexpectedly turned south toward Ukraine before reaching Smolensk. Mazepa was left in an awkward position, but tried to accommodate the Swedes as well as he could.

Because of the harsh winter of 1708–1709 and a series of military defeats the situation of the Swedish army in Ukraine became precarious. The assistance Charles XII expected from Turkey and the Crimean Khanate did not materialize, and the Polish army of King Stanislaus I Leszczyński and a Swedish corps were forced to remain in Poland to fight the supporters of Frederick Augustus II. Charles's only success at that time was enlisting the support of Otaman Kost Hordiienko and his army of 8,000 Zaporozhian Cossacks in April 1709. Semiencircled by the Russians, Charles chose not to retreat to Volhynia (as his generals counseled) but to advance to the Vorskla River and thence on to Moscow via Kharkiv and Kursk. Several fortified cities on the way encumbered Charles's advance. One such city was Poltava, situated at the intersection of important routes to Southern Ukraine, Right-Bank Ukraine, and Slobidska Ukraine and the Don region. It was defended by a garrison of 4,300 Russian soldiers and 2,600 Ukrainian volunteers commanded by Gen Aleksei Kelin.

In early May 1709, on Ivan Mazepa's advice, Charles XII decided to capture Poltava. Having failed to take it by storm, he besieged and bombarded the hungry city. Peter I arrived to relieve Poltava and decided his army of 42,500 soldiers and 102 cannons would attack the Swedes on 10 July. Cossack forces loyal to Peter under the command of Hetman Ivan Skoropadsky cut off possible Swedish retreat to the Dnieper River between Pereiaslav and Kremenchuk. Charles had 31,000 men but only 4 cannons; 6,000 of his soldiers were engaged in maintaining the siege or guarding the Vorskla River rear. Mazepa's small force was held in reserve to protect the Swedish western flank and ensure that Kelin would not attack from the fortress.

When Charles XII learned, during the night of 7 July, that a Kalmyk army of 40,000 would arrive to reinforce the Russians in two days, he decided to act first and destroy the Russian encampment in a lightning blow. At 5 AM on 8 July the Swedish infantry advanced on Russian positions but was repelled by cavalry. The Swedish cavalry successfully engaged its counterpart but was forced to retreat under heavy fire. The Swedish infantry attacked once more and captured two Russian redoubts, but failed to hold them. As the Swedes attempted to bypass the redoubts, Prince Aleksandr Menshikov's troops encircled them and inflicted heavy casualties. Fifty to seventy meters from Russian positions the Swedes met a hail of deadly artillery fire. Panic ensued in their ranks, but they managed to retreat into the nearby Budyshcha forest, where Charles was able, with considerable difficulty, to restore order.

At around 9 AM, having regrouped their forces, both Peter I and Charles XII ordered their troops to advance. Intense Russian artillery fire again created chaos in the Swedish ranks, their center buckled, and a disorderly retreat ensued to the Swedish encampment, which by then had been captured by Russian forces. By 11 AM the Swedes had been routed. Over 9,300 died, and nearly 2,900 were taken prisoner, including Field Marshal C.-G. Rehnskjold and the first minister, C. Piper. The Russian army suffered 1,345 dead and 3,290 wounded. Swedish units that were not captured were led by Gen A.L. Lewenhaupt along the Vorskla River to Perevolochna, whence Charles, Ivan Mazepa, and Kost Hordiienko and a contingent of 3,000 Swedes and Cossacks crossed the Dnieper River and fled into Turkish-occupied territory. A.L. Lewenhaupt's army of 16,000 was forced to capitulate and surrender to Menshikov. According to the fifth provision of the capitulation agreement Cossacks under Swedish command were handed over to the Russians. Most of them were executed on the spot, and the rest were exiled to Siberia.

The Battle of Poltava resulted in Russian military rule in the Hetman state and increasing curtailment of its autonomy. The Museum of the History of the Battle of Poltava, which very much lauded Peter’s triumph, was opened at the battle site in 1950.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

FDC from Russia/FDC de la russie

65th Anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War/
Le 65ème Anniversaire de Victoire dans la Grande guerre Patriote

The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of war between the European Axis powers, Germany, Romania, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, Croatia, Finland (not an Axis member) and the Soviet Union which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945. It was known by many different names depending on the nation, notably the Great Patriotic War (Russian: Великая Отечественная Война) in USSR, the Eastern Front (German: die Ostfront), the Eastern Campaign (German: der Ostfeldzug) or the Russian Campaign (German: der Rußlandfeldzug) in Germany.

The battles on the "Eastern Front" constituted the largest military confrontation in history. They were characterised by unprecedented ferocity, wholesale destruction, mass deportations, and immense loss of life variously due to combat, starvation, disease, and massacres. The Eastern Front, as the site of nearly all extermination camps, death marches, ghettos, and the majority of pogroms, was central to the Holocaust. Various figures average a total number of 70,000,000 dead because of World War II; with over 30 million dead, many of them civilians, the Eastern Front represents almost half of this total, and has been called a war of extermination. The Eastern Front was decisive in determining the outcome of World War II, eventually serving as the main reason for Germany's defeat. It resulted in the destruction of the Third Reich, the partition of Germany and the rise of the Soviet Union as a military and industrial superpower.

The two principal belligerent powers were Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. The Soviet-Finnish Continuation War may be considered the northern flank of the Eastern Front. In addition, the joint German-Finnish operations across the northernmost Finnish-Soviet border and in the Murmansk region are also considered part of the Eastern Front.

Le terme de Front de l’Est (aussi appelé le Front russe) désigne le théâtre d'opérations en Europe de l'Est pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. De juin 1941 à mai 1945, l'Allemagne nazie et l'Union soviétique, les deux principales nations belligérantes, se livrèrent à une guerre totale prenant place d'abord en Union soviétique, puis dans les pays occupés par les forces de l'Axe.

Il s'agit du plus grand théâtre d'opérations de la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Le Front de l'Est fut le lieu de la guerre la plus féroce, d'énormes destructions et déportations de masse, et résulta en de gigantesques pertes militaires et civiles par suite de la guerre elle-même, de famine, de maladie, de conditions météorologiques extrêmes, et de massacres. Les pertes civiles et militaires sur le Front de l'Est sont estimées à environ 30 millions de personnes, soit environ la moitié des dégâts infligés tout au long de la Seconde Guerre mondiale.

Ce conflit fut sans doute le plus déterminant dans la chute du Troisième Reich. Il eut comme conséquences la destruction de l'Allemagne comme puissance militaire, l'accession de l'Union soviétique au rang de superpuissance, la constitution du bloc soviétique en Europe de l’Est (derrière le rideau de fer) et la division de l'Allemagne.

Les Soviétiques et maintenant les Russes appellent ce conflit la Grande Guerre patriotique, par allusion à la « Guerre patriotique » de 1812 contre Napoléon Ier. Les Allemands nomment le conflit "Ostfront", ce qui se traduit par "Front de l'Est". Les Finlandais, qui combattirent aux côtés des Allemands, nomment la partie des combats qui se déroula sur leur territoire entre 1941 et 1944 guerre de Continuation, car elle prolongeait la guerre d'Hiver de 1939-1940.

Le 9 mai, jour de la reddition allemande pour le fuseau horaire de Moscou, est une fête nationale en Russie et dans certaines des anciennes républiques soviétiques (День Победы, littéralement le jour de la victoire).

Le Front de l'Est fit sa jonction avec le Front de l'Ouest en Allemagne et en Tchécoslovaquie en 1945.

Friday, July 16, 2010

FDC from Bulgaria/FDC de la Bulgarie

EUROPA-Children's books/
EUROPA-Livres pour enfants

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

FDC from Bulgaria/FDC de la Bulgarie

2010 FIFA World Cup/
Coupe du monde de football de 2010

Friday, July 9, 2010