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.