Sunday, February 2, 2020

Finland 2019 - Maternity Box

Technical Details:
Issue Date: 23 January 2019
Designer: Dog Design

The Maternity Package:

The Maternity package (Finnish: äitiyspakkaus, Swedish: moderskapsförpackning) is a kit granted by the Finnish social security institution Kela, to all expectant or adoptive parents who live in Finland or are covered by the Finnish social security system. The package contains children's clothes and other necessary items, such as nappies, bedding, cloth, gauze towels and child-care products. It was first issued in 1938 to parents with a low income, and contained a blanket, crib sheets, diapers, and fabric which parents could use to make clothing for the baby.

Since 1949 it has been given to all mothers-to-be, provided they visited a doctor or municipal pre-natal clinic before the end of their fourth month of pregnancy, and the pregnancy has lasted at least 154 days. The contents of the package are updated approximately every year.

Following a BBC story in June 2013, the baby box began to receive international attention. Similar packages, commercial or state-sponsored, are being trialled around the world. Private companies have started selling packages purporting to be the "Finnish baby box" or similar to it, but the original boxes are not sold commercially.

In 1949, the box given was standard to all expectant mothers who visited a doctor before the fourth month of pregnancy per the Finnish Maternity Grants Act. A baby bottle was added to the package, but was removed in later packages to encourage breastfeeding. The requirement to visit a doctor as a prerequisite to receiving the package was done in order ensure that the woman received adequate prenatal care.

The box containing the package transforms into a crib in which many newborns have their first naps. A mother may choose to take the maternity package, or a cash grant of 140 euros, but 95% of Finnish mothers choose the box because it's worth significantly more. The maternity package can either be applied for online, on Kela's website, or by completing and returning a form.

The current package contents include bodysuits, a sleeping bag, outdoor gear, bathing products for the baby, nappies and cream, bedding and a small mattress (allowing the box to be used as a crib), a hooded bath towel, nail scissors, hairbrush, toothbrush, wash cloth, muslin squares, a picture book, teething toy, bra pads, and condoms. Condoms are included by way of precaution, not as a discouragement, as a new pregnancy is possible within a few weeks of childbirth and many parents wish to have a little time between the births of their children.

The maternity package is not a commercial product, and therefore Kela cannot sell it. Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge received a maternity package as a gift from Kela in 2013. Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden were given one in 2012.

Content of the package/ the box contained following items:
  • Snowsuit / sleeping bag 68–74 cm (27–29 in)
  • Insulated mittens and booties
  • Sleeping bag / blanket 95 cm × 95 cm (37 in × 37 in)
  • Light-weight overall with hood 68–74 cm
  • Wool-blend coverall 68–74 cm
  • Wool cap
  • Balaclava hood 62–68 cm (24–27 in)
  • Cap
  • College overall / jumpsuit 62–68 cm
  • Romper suit 50–56 cm (20–22 in)
  • Wrap around body suit 50–56 cm
  • Bodysuit with extender 62–68 cm
  • Bodysuit 68–74 cm
  • Bodysuit 62–68 cm
  • 2 × Wrap around bodysuit 50–56 cm
  • 2 × Leggings 62–68 cm
  • 2 × Leggings 68–74 cm
  • 2 × Footed leggings 50–56 cm
  • Tights 62–68 cm
  • Socks and mittens 19–21
  • Socks 19–21
  • Sleeping bag / nightdress 62–68 cm
  • Bedding and linen
  • Blanket, off-white 80 cm × 120 cm (31 in × 47 in)
  • Duvet cover with pattern of baby footprints on green background 85 cm × 130 cm (33 in × 51 in)
  • White sheet 90 cm × 150 cm (35 in × 59 in)
  • Protector 90 cm × 150 cm (can be used, for instance, as protection for the mattress)
  • Mattress 700 mm × 428 mm × 40 mm (27.6 in × 16.9 in × 1.6 in)
  • Pocket nappy and cotton gauze insert
  • Towel 85 cm × 85 cm (33 in × 33 in)
  • Personal care items (bra pads, nail scissors, toothbrush, digital thermometer, talcum powder, nipple cream, condoms (6pcs), lubricant, sanitary towels, bath thermometer, hairbrush)
  • Feeding bib
  • Drooling bib / scarf
  • First book titled "Lystileikit vauvan kanssa” in Finnish and Swedish
  • Cuddly toy / comfort blanket
The program resulted in increased prenatal care for pregnant women, and decreased infant mortality. The program is now considered a part of the culture of Finland.

As of June 2019, there had been one experimental study conducted on the use of baby boxes (a.k.a., "cardboard bassinets"), in combination with safe sleep education, for reducing bed-sharing, which is a risk factor for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and sleep-related deaths (SRD). Researchers at Temple University Hospital assigned study participants (i.e., mother-infant dyads) to one of the following conditions for postpartum hospital discharge: standard hospital discharge instructions; standard instructions plus additional safe infant sleep education based on the AAP safe infant sleep recommendations; or both types of instruction plus a gifted baby box from The Baby Box Company. The researchers concluded that the third condition (i.e., both types of instruction plus a gifted baby box) reduced the rate of bed-sharing during the first week of the infant's life (as self-reported by the participating mothers), particularly for exclusively breasfeeding mother-infant dyads.

Finland 2017 - Finland Coat of Arms

Technical Details:
Issue Date: 24 May 2017
Designer: Design Pekka Piippo, Valokuva Martti Jämsä
Values: 10€

About Finland Coat of Arms

Finland's coat of arms 1917 is a ten-euro special stamp designed by Pekka Piippo.

The only visible printing on the embossed stamp is its golden foil. In UV light, the map of Finland and a graph depicting the genetic background of Finns appear on the miniature sheet and the stamp. The graph is based on research carried out by Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, which is part of the University of Helsinki, and the National Institute for Health and Welfare.

The background of the stamp features an iconic photograph taken by Martti Jämsä in the series Summer (1994-2003). In the photo, a small child is standing in a calm Finnish lake with a swimming ring, looking towards the opposite shore. Many Finns have memories about moments of this kind.

Finland 2017 - Model 1917 Saarinen, Coat of Arms

Technical Details:
Issue Date: 24 May 2017
Designer: Susanna Rumpu, Ari Lakaniemi 
Original Design: Elien Saarinen

About Model 1917 Saarinen

The idea of the lion-themed coat of arms stamps comes from the first Finnish stamp publications, the Model 1917 Saarinen stamps. The miniature sheet is a tribute to two stamps designed by architect Eliel Saarinen, but the original payment indication in Finnish marks has been replaced with the payment indication of a domestic no-value indicator stamp.

The name of the first stamps of independent Finland comes from the name of Eliel Saarinen, the designer of the stamps. The first stamp in the series already came out on October 1, 1917, before Finland gained her independence, and the remaining eight stamps in the series with different values were published by the end of December 1917. In addition, 19 new different stamps with different color and value combinations were published later. All in all, 28 different stamps were published. In 1919 and 1921, they were provided with a surcharge increasing their nominal value, due to inflation. The last Saarinen stamps remained in use until the end of 1930.

The miniature sheet consisting of two stamps was designed by Ari Lakaniemi and Susanna Rumpu.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Portugal 2016 - Cante Alentejano

Technical Details:
Issue Date: 27 April 2016
Designer: Atelier Design&etc
Printer: Bpost
Process: Offset
Colours: 4 Colours
Size:Stamps: 30,6 x 40 mm, Souvenir sheet: 125 x 95 mm
Values: €0.47, 0.80

About Cante Alentejano

Cante Alentejo, Canto às Vozes or simply Cante, is a style of choral singing whose sole musical instrument is the human voice. Associating music with poetry, it is interpreted irrespective of gender or age.

Its interpreters perform either in organised groups or informally. In its more organised form, choral groups or ranchos can be men only, women only or mixed, adults, children or young adults, or all ages. Informally, it is sung in public or in private at various occasions and events, as in the case of Cante em Taberna (sung in taverns).

It is through Cante that the modas are interpreted – poetic texts traditionally comprised of two stanzas that are almost always linked by a leixa-pren (a stylistic device typical of medieval lyric-poetry from the Iberian Peninsula). Associated with the moda is the cantiga, generally a traditional or popular stanza with four verses. The interpretative canon alternates between the cantiga and the moda. A call and response sequence is developed between the soloist or ponto and the chorus or baixos, while the soloist is introduced by another singer called the alto.

Asagenre, isassociatedwithSouthernPortugal,especiallythe Baixo Alentejo region. Today, however, its geography extends beyond its historical region. It is found in the Algarve, in coastal, central and upper Alentejo and in the peripheries of the cities of Setúbal and Lisbon.

Scholars have differing views on its origins: pre-Roman, Mozarab, Arab, Christian, Jewish or even a result of the presence of African slaves. What can be said for certain is that the genre evolved over the course of the 20th century by freeing itself of the chordophone (viola de Beja) and by continuing the tradition of singing without instrumentation in Central Alentejo. Its call and response mode of interpretation appears to be associated with the evolution in the 18th century of singing in honour of St. John the Baptist and in traditional theatre associated with the Ciclo dos 12 Dias (the period between Christmas Day and Epiphany during which traditional Christmas songs are sung). In a number of villages bordering Spain, a medieval festival named As Santas Cruzes (Holy Crosses) or Invenção da Santa Cruz (Invention of the Holy Cross), is associated with choral singing, an example of which is Vila Nova de São Bento, where formal groups and/or groups formed in school projects continue to sing the ancient forms of popular piety. Aesthetically, in terms of dress and ornamentation, choral groups can be categorised into ethnographic groups, such as Grupo Coral e Etnográfico da Casa do Povo de Serpa (1928), Grupo Coral e Etnográfico Misto Alma Alentejana de Peroguarda (1936), Grupo Coral e Etnográfico Os Camponeses de Vale de Vargo (1968), Grupo Coral e Etnográfico Amigos do Alentejo, in Feijó (1986), and Grupo Coral e Etnográfico da Casa do Povo de Brinches; industry-associated groups, like the one from the Aljustrel mining complex, Grupo Coral do Sindicato dos Mineiros de Aljustrel [1926/1947]; or groups that emulate the orpheonic movement, as typified by Grupo Coral Feminino de Cantares das Alcáçovas (2001). Groups composed of younger members, such as Grupo Coral Os Mainantes, in Pias (2014), choose to wear simpler garments.

On 27 November 2014, Cante Alentejano was inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. As a Heritage of Humanity, Cante now lives in a new era where the local meets the global. And it is in this encounter that its contemporaneity is now being played out. Like few other musical genres, Cante has always known how to reinvent itself while being traditional. And it is in this crossover of the old and the new that Cante springs forth, and with it, the entire identity of Alentejo.

Paulo Lima Casa do Cante

Portugal 2017 - Joint Issue With India, Traditional Dances

Technical Details:
Issue Date: 07 January 2017
Designer: Atelier Design & Túlio Coelho
Perforation: 11 1/4 x 11 1/4
Printer: INCM
Process: Offset
Paper: 110 gr
Size: 40 x 30,6 mm
Values: €0.47 (125,000), €0.80 (105,000); SS €1.27 (40,000)

Portugal and India have enjoyed more than 500 years of a meeting of cultures that is extremely enriching for both sides.  Between the two populations there are families ties, both ancient and modern, and there are economic and political opportunities from which to benefit, that can undoubtedly gain leverage from such an old and respected relationship. For all these reasons, the postal operators of Portugal and of India decided to celebrate this centuries-old friendship between the two peoples by means of a joint issue of postage stamps, coinciding with the official visit of the Prime Minister of Portugal to India.

The theme chosen for the stamps in both countries came of the realisation that both Portugal and India possess, in their deepest folkloric roots, two dances with undeniable similarities.  Both were warrior dances, using sticks as props to symbolise ancestral swords: Dandiya, the stick dance of Gujarat, and the dance of the Pauliteiros de Miranda.  The Dandiya (a term from the northeast of India meaning "stick") was created thousands of years ago as an expression of devotion in honour of the mother-goddess Durga.  In this dance, colourful decorated sticks, or dandiyas, represent the swords of the goddess.  This dance, which is still performed today, enacts the mythical battle between the goddess and the demon-king Mahishasura.

The female dancers move rhythmically in circles around the mandvi, wearing traditional dresses with highly coloured accecories - choli, ghagra, and bandhani dupattas.  Their hair is usually adorned with mirrors, pieces of glass or jewels that reflect the light .  In turn, the male dancers, who also dress in the traditional clothing of their regions - turbans and kedias - onto which are sewn mirrors to increase the luminous effect, move in a separate ring to that of the women and in the opposite direction.

The traditional dance, therefore, consists of two independent circles.  The movements of both sets of dancers are energetic, whirling around each other with the sticks (dandiya) in their hands, to the carious rhythms of different types of drum - dhol, dholak, bongo, etc.  The Dandiya dances are mostly performed in the evening during the Navrati festival, in honour of the goddess-mother, in the State of Gujarat.

The dance of the Pauliteiros is the most important folkloric manifestation of Terra de Miranda, although its reach extends far beyond the municipality of Miranda do Douro.

Its origin may lie in the ancient Greek pyrrhic dance, which is thought to have been spread by the Romans throughout the Miranda region.  This was a dance used in teaching and military training in which the performers, lined up in two rows, simulated attack and defence manoeuvres, using sticks as weapons as they moved to the sound of a flute.  According to Antonio Maria Mourinho, this dance is common to other regions on the Iberian Peninsula and incorporates traditions and military presentations that have developed indigenously.

Accompanied by three musical (bagpipe, snare drum and bass drum), the eight dancers in the group have the role of guides or foot soldiers, either left or right, depending on their position.  They wear woollen socks, white skirts with scarves hanging from the waist, white linen shirts, sackcloth waistcoats and hats decorated with ribbons and/or flowers, and the choreographies they perform are known as Ihacos.

The Pauliteiros de Miranda are mostly located throughout the various parishes of the municipality of Miranda do Douro, but there are groups based outside the area, as well as oooutside the country, which also take the name Pauliteiros de Miranda.  There are groups formed specifically by certain age groups and currently there are also some groups formed exclusively by women.

Note: The text on the Pauliteiros de Miranda is written by Alberto A. Araujo Fernandes, Master in the Cultural Heritage of Miranda

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Poland 1994 - Traditional Folk Dances

3000 Polish Złoty - Mazur = Masurian/ Masurian dance (Mazurka)
4000 Polish Złoty - Góralski = from the Gorals/ Highlander dance
3000 Polish Złoty - Krakowiak = Cracovienne / Cracovian dance (Krakowiak)

Uzbekistan 2003 - Headdress of Uzbekistan

Technical Details:
Date of Issue: 07 October 2003
Width: 30 mm
Height: 42 mm
Number in set: 7
Layout/Format: Sheet of 32
Perforations: 14 by 14
Stamp Issuing Authority: JSC Uzbekistan Markasi
Printer: SPS Davlat belgisi

Headdress of Uzbekistan:
100 Uzbekistani Soʻm - Kula-tung Shakhrisabz, XIX-XX Centuries
100 Uzbekistani Soʻm - Men's skull cap XIX-XX Centuries
100 Uzbekistani Soʻm - Smart skull cap, Khorazm, XIX-XX Centuries
125 Uzbekistani Soʻm - Woman's skull cap, Khiva, XIX-XX Centuries
125 Uzbekistani Soʻm - Kokand, XIX-XX Centuries
155 Uzbekistani Soʻm - Children's smart scull-cap XIX-XX Centuries
155 Uzbekistani Soʻm - Men's scull-cap, Samarkand XIX-XX Centuries

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

South Korea 2019 - Taegeukgi in History

Technical Details:
Date of Issue: 14 August 2019
Stamp Size: 36 mm x 26 mm
Perforation: 13¾ X 13¼
Denomination: 380 Korean Won
Quantity: 1,120,000.-
Printer: White Underwatermarked
Printing Process & Colors: Offset, Four Colors
Printer: Southern Colour Print for POSA
Designer: Ryi Jihyeong

Taegeukgi in History:

Taegeukgi is renowned as the most philosophical of all the national flags in the world. But did you know that up until 100 years ago, many different types of Taegeukgi existed? Korea Post is issuing commemorative stamps that feature the different faces of Taegeukgi that most people are unfamiliar with.

In the later years of the Korean Empire, King Gojong bestowed a gift to a United States diplomatic advisor named Denny. The gift was none other than Taegeukgi, which came to be known as O. N. Denny`s Taegeukgi. This oldest extant Taegeukgi is estimated to have been made in 1890 and is currently held at the National Museum of Korea.
The wave of modernization that started with the proclamation of the Korean Empire in 1897 prompted the creation of Taegeukgi for educational purposes. For example, Taegeukgi at Seongyojang House, Gangneung is known to have been created and used by the students of Dongjin School in Gangneung in the early 1900s. Myeongsin School for Girls (presently Sookmyung Girls’ Middle School and High School) also created their own Taegeukgi in 1906 when the Honorable Princess Consort of the Eom Clan founded the school. Also, Taegeukgi of Dongduk Women s Academy was flown on the foundation day of the school in 1908.

Sadly, the loss of national sovereignty took place almost concurrently with modernization. Under the Japanese occupation, Taegeukgi became a symbol of resistance. The Japan-Korea Treaty of 1905, also known as the Eulsa Unwilling Treaty, enraged many, including Go Gwang-sun, a general of the righteous army. In 1907, General Go created Taegeukgi with Chinese Characters Meaning Liberation is Not Far Off and led the anti-Japanese movement.

While the creation of Taegeukgi Woodblock, which had Taegeukgi engraved on a woodblock, enabled the mass production of Taegeukgi for the March 1st movement, Taegeukgi Embroidered by Nam Sang-rak was made by the independence activist Nam Sang-rak who hand-stitched the entire flag on silk and used it as part of the Korean independence movement on April 4, 1919. Taegeukgi at Jingwansa Temple was said to have been made by the monks who participated in the March 1st movement.

Taegeukgi of the Provisional Korean National Council were donated by the family of Kim Bung-jun, who served as the president of the Provisional Korean National Council. These Taegeukgis are precious artifacts that represent the changes made to Taegeukgi during the time of the Provisional Korean National Council.

Korean people s yearning for independence reached the United States through Taegeukgi. Taegeukgi with Chinese Characters Meaning Long Live Korean Independence! on a triangular pennant and Taegeukgi with Kim Gu`s Writings and Signature which Kim Gu gave to Maeusa, a Catholic priest who was leaving for America, clearly prove how the spirit of independence was alive both inside and outside Korea.

Korea finally gained independence on August 15th 1945, and the oaths for the continuing effort to regain full sovereignty are written on Taegeukgi with Writings and Signatures of the Soldiers of the Korean Liberation Army.

The Korean peninsula was again swept up in turmoil with the onset of the Korean War on June 25th 1950. Taegeukgi with the Writings and Signatures of Gyeongju Student Soldiers which represents the iron will of the student soldiers, and Yi Cheol-hui`s Taegeukgi with Chinese Characters Meaning Outbreak of War, which illustrates the army s forward passage and their military spirit, can be viewed at the Independence Hall of Korea in Cheonan.

During the Second Battle of Seoul, a U.S. marine named Busbea was handed a Taegeukgi by Korean citizens. This Taegeukgi, which is called Taegeukgi Donated by A. W. Busbea, a U.S. Marine can be found at the Hanam Museum of History.

These sixteen images on the commemorative stamps display the history of Taegeukgi, in which Koreans spirit and yearning for independence breathe soundly. As we celebrate the upcoming Independence Day, we hope that these stamps will provide everyone with the chance to reflect on our history and show profound gratitude to those who fought for the country s independence and freedom

O.N. Denny's Taegeukgi 
Taegeukgi of Myeongsin School for Girls
Taegeukgi with Chinese Characters Meaning "Liberation is Not Far Off"
Taegeukgi of Dongduk Women's Academy
Taegeukgi at Seongyojang House, Gangneung
Taegeukgi Woodblock
Taegeukgi at Jingwansa Temple
Taegeukgi Embroidered by Nam Sang-rak
Taegeukgi of the Provisional Korean National Council 1
Taegeukgi of the Provisional Korean National Council 2
Taegeukgi with Kim Gu's Writings & Signature
Taegeukgi Chinese Character's Meaning "Long Live Korean Independence"
Taegeukgi with the Writings & Signatures of the Soldiers of The Korean Liberation Army
Yi Cheol-hui's Taegeukgi with Chinese Characters Meaning "Outbreak of War"
Taegeukgi Donated by A.W. Busbea, a US Marine
Taegeukgi with Writings & Signatures of Gyeongju Student Soldiers

South Korea 2017 - UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage (Namsadang Nori)

Technical Details:
Date of Issue: 27 October 2017
Design: Deolmi, Pungmul & Mudong (Shoulder Ride)
Stamp Size: 52 mm x 21 mm
Denomination: 330 Korean Won
Quantity: 250,000.-
Printing Process & Colors: Offset, Four Colors
Sheet Composition: 2+ (2x4)
Perforation: 13¾ X 13¼
Printer: White Underwatermarked
Designer: Kim Sojeong

UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage (Namsadang Nori)

Namsadang Nori (National Intangible Cultural Heritage) literally means the all-male vagabond clown theatre.  It is a traditional folk performance of various genres, such as musical instrument performances, dance, play and acrobatics, staged in an outdoor area.  In September 2009, Namsadang Nori was inscribed on the Representative List of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and thus the value has been recognized around the world.  Namsadangpae , which performs Namsadang Nori by traveling around the country, is a theatrical troupe comprised of people from the lower classes in the Joseon Dynasty.  Led by Ggokdusoe, Namsadangpae features 40-60 members including Gombaengisoe, a performance planner, Ddeunsoe, a person in charge of performances in each genre, Gayeol, a performer, Bbiri, an entry level member, and "Jeoseungpae, a senior member, as well as young errand boys and porters who carry the equipment.  All members have been trained under a strict order of rank and hand down the skills systematically.  Namsadang Nori is made up of six components: Pungmul, a segment of farmers music to attract people by playingthe percussion, such as gongs, double-headed drums and animal hide drums; Beona, a display of hoop-spinning with a wooden stick; Salpan, an acrobatic segment performed on the ground with comic dialog and music; Eoreum, a tightrope walking act where an acrobat on a high-wire is engage in witty exchanges with a clown below; Deotboegi, a mask dance depicting people from different social classes; and Deolmi, a puppet play where puppets on the stage exchange jokes with musicians.  Namsadang Nori was not just about providing enjoyment to the audience.  It spoke for the weak and sent messages by satirizing irration alities of the time and exposing social problems.  In particular, Deotboegi, a mask dance, and Deolmi, a puppet play, raised the morale of oppressed lower-class citizens and women by satirizing and making a mockery of the incompetent and corrupt aristocrats, and critizing tyranny of men under patriarchy.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Oman 2019 - Traditional Omani Music

Music enthusiasts and philatelists alike are in for a very special treat from Oman Post after the company launched four interactive stamps celebrating the deep roots and variety of Oman’s traditional music and performance arts. Offering an augmented reality experience through the Oman Stamp App, the stamps pays homage to time-honoured country traditions. They can now be reserved by emailing Oman Post on:

The stamps feature four performing arts, as follow:

The first is Al Azi, a traditional Omani music performed in various styles all over the Sultanate, and accompanied by dancing and recitation of poetry. The second, Al Rawah, a drummers-based performance originating from Musandam, usually performed by men and women during weddings.

The most unique characteristic about this dance is its name, which changes according to the time it is performed. It is called ‘Serh’ in the morning, ‘Sudar’ during mid-day, ‘Rwah’ in the afternoon, and mostly known for its evening time name of ‘Siri’. 

The third stamp highlights the Barghoum, a blowing instrument, made from the horns of wild goats or Oryx, which gives no more than two musical tones.

The fourth and final stamp showcases two rhythmic musical instruments, the Kasir, known for its technical aesthetic role in performing basic rhythmical beats, and the Rahmani, which provides a deep pitch in all different patterns of traditional Omani music.

Curacao 2019 - Musical Heritage of Curacao

Technical Details:
Date of Issue: 16 October 2019

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Mongolia 1961 - Culture And Art

Technical Details:
Date of Issue: 16 September 1961
Size: 43 mm x 33 mm ; 33 mm x 43 mm
Printing: Intaglio
Perforation: 12 : 11 1/2

With scenes of achievment and progress of sector of culture and art for 40 years since people's revolution.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

North Korea 2019 - Folk Customs of the Korean Nation

Technical Details
Date of Issue: 01 December 2019
Size: 100 x 52mm, 50 x 30mm (stamp)
Denomination: 50 won x 4
Designer: Kim Hae Yong, Ri Jin Hyok
Quantity: 30,000 (Perforation) ; 1,000 (Imperforation) ; 500 (FDC)

The Korea Stamp Corporation has published a stamp series showing “Folk Customs of the Korean Nation”.

According to the KSC the “stamps were issued to reflect the unique food culture of the Korean nation. The stamps portray the peculiar dietary custom of the Korean people.”

The stamps in the series have the following value/ design:
50 Won - Pressing Noodles
50 Won - Making Bean Paste
50 Won - Making Kimchi
50 Won - Pounding Cereal Cakes

North Korea 2019 - Korean Folk Customs

Technical Details:
Date of Issue: 22 November 2019
Size of Stamp: 59.5 x 31.5 mm
Denomination: 50 won x 4
Price: $2.00 (4 stamps perf)
Designer: Kim Won Myong, Kang Chol U
Printing: Offset
Sheet Composition: 4 x 5
Quantity: 30.000 (Perforation) ; 2.000 (Imperforation)

The Korea Stamp Corporation has published a stamp series showing Korean folk customs from “the period of the feudal Joson dynasty” and Koguryo.

According to Korea Stamp Corporation, “Folk games Koreans have played traditionally include hunting contest, ssirum (Korean style of wrestling), tug of war, jumping seesaw, swinging, janggi (Korean chess), paduk (go), yut, konu, singing and dancing by peasants, top-spinning, rope skipping, kite flying and sleighing.” The Korean terms for these activities are 사냥경기, 씨름, 바줄당기기, 널뛰기, 그네뛰기, 장기, 바둑, 윷놀이, 고누, 농악놀이, 팽이치기, 줄넘기, 연띄우기 and 썰매타기.

The stamps in the series have the following value/ design:

50 Won - Hunting contest (In The Period of Koguryo)
50 Won - Ssirum (Korean Wrestling) (In The Period of The Feudal Joson Dynasty)
50 Won - Tug of War (In The Period of The Feudal Joson Dynasty)
50 Won - Jumping Seesaw (In The Period of The Feudal Joson Dynasty)

Mongolia 2019 - Intangible Cultural Heritage

Technical Details:
Date of Issue: 22 November 2019
Size of Stamp: 190 mm x 180 mm ; 78 mm x 108 mm (SS)
Printing: Offset Lithography

Intangible Cultural Heritage:
100 Mongolian Tögrög - Mongolian Calligraphy
200 Mongolian Tögrög - Falconry, A Living Human Heritage
300 Mongolian Tögrög - Mongolian Knuckle Bone Shooting
400 Mongolian Tögrög - Mongol Bilyegee, Mongolian Traditional Folk Dances
700 Mongolian Tögrög - Traditional Music of the Tsuur
2000 Mongolian Tögrög - The Traditional Music of Morin Khuur
2000 Mongolian Tögrög - Urtiin Duu, Traditional Folk Long Song

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Argentina 2019 - Tango Dances

Date of Issue: 26 August 2019

Argentina 2005 - Joint Issue with Thailand, Dances

Technical Details:
Date of Issue: 05 February 2005
Width: 34.00 mm
Height: 44.00 mm
Denomination: 0.75 ARS
Number in set: 2 (Show Set)
Layout/ Format: Sheet of 20
Perforations: 14 by 14
Stamp Issuing Authority: Correo oficial de la Republica Argentina SA
Printer: Letra Viva SA, Buenos Aires

Subject: Argentina - Thailand - 50 Years of Bi-lateral Relations

Argentina 2001 - Tango & Kabuki Theater, Japan Philatelic Exhibition

Technical Details:
Date of Issue: 28 July 2001
Size: 40 x 30 mm
Colors: Multicolor
Format: Stamp
Emission: Commemorative
Perforation: comb14
Printing: Offset Lithography
Face value: 75 ¢ - Argentine Centavo
Print Run: 104,000

2001 Japan Philatelic Exhibition (Tango and Kabuki Theater)

Argentina 2003 - A Mask,World Philatelic Exhibition BANGKOK 2003

Technical Details:
Date of Issue: 04 October 2003
Width: 30.00 mm
Height: 40.00 mm
Denomination: 0.75 ARS
Number in Set: 2 (show set)
Layout/ Format: Miniature Sheet of 2 of 2 designs
Perforations: 14 by 14
Stamp Issuing Authority: Correo Argentino SA
Printer: Letra Viva SA, Buenos Aires

Subject: World Philatelic Exhibition BANGKOK 2003:

0.75 Argentine Pesos - A mask representing the black demon
0.75 Argentine Pesos - A mask representing a spirit that celebrates the return of Prince Vessandorn

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Austria 2019 - Traditional Costume of Flachgau

Technical Details:
Issue Date: 25 October 2019

About The Traditional Costume of Flachgau
The focus of the “Classic traditional costumes” series on this occasion is the dirndl from Salzburg’s Flachgau region. This traditional costume for everyday wear impresses with its fresh colours and its typical cut.

The traditional everyday dirndl
The traditional costume of Flachgau is a new version of the costume, with considerable freedom in the design to encourage variety and to enable the traditional costume to be incorporated into everyday wear as easily as possible. Characteristic features are the square neckline at the front of the bodice and the narrow central flap fastened with buttons. The costume is made from linen, cotton or mixed-fibre fabrics, either in a single colour or with a floral or checked pattern, with the colour of the skirt coordinating with the bodice. Depending on the pattern of the fabric, either the flap or the edging on the hem is often decorated with monochrome piping. Alternatively, taking inspiration from the costume for special occasions, the bodice with the central flap is replaced with a linen laced corset with a wide front aperture, a seam dividing the back section and incorporated straps. The lacing eyelets of the corset are often elaborately designed in alloys of gold orsilver. For special occasions there is also the “Festtracht” made of silk or brocade, thebodice of which is embroidered with floral motifs and decorated with velvet.

The traditional costume of Flachgau shown on the special stamp comprises a red linen bodice with a herringbone weave and a coordinating printed skirt with an edging in the same colour as the bodice. It is worn with a light-green cotton apron decorated with a scattered flower motif and fastened with a wide bow. The plain white blouse with short sleeves and the red piping on the square neckline and sleeves complete the dirndl.

As varied as the region
Flachgau is the most northerly region of the province and surrounds the capital city Salzburg. With its lakes, basins and mountains, it offers considerable variety, and the regional variants of the traditional dress are just as varied as the landscape. One of the best-known versions of the dirndl from the Flachgau region is the Henndorf dirndl. It isoften made from blue checked material (“bedding” material) and the central flap isfastened with buttons. The apron is not tied in a bow, as is usual, but is instead attached to the dirndl with buttons.

Austria 2019 - Traditional Costume of Carinthia

Technical Details:
Issue Date: 27 June 2019

About The Traditional Costume of Carinthia

The Blue Spotted Dirndl
This time, the special stamp from the popular “Classic traditional costumes” series is dedicated tothe traditional costume of Carinthia, which is worn throughout the federal province.

A simple dress made of dark blue cotton with white spots is fastened with silver buttons. The hemline is trimmed with red. Above the rounded neckline a simple white blouse peeps out, the medium-length sleeves of which are decorated with a lace border. A monochrome black cotton apron rounds off the costume, although a white apron decorated with tendrils of red and blue flowers can be worn instead. Married women wear the bow on their apron tied on the right-hand side; unmarried ladies, on the left. On special occasions the traditional costume is also worn with a long skirt and a fancy blouse with longer, puffed sleeves, gathered below the elbow and with decorative stitching on the shoulders.

The pattern of the spotted material was created out of necessity: there was not enough money to allow for an elaborate design when dyeing the fabric blue, so wooden nails were hammered into a board. During the staining process pressing these into the fabric prevented the colour from being taken up, and in this way, the white spots were created.

The Designer behind the Costume
Prof. Leopold Resch, a well-known traditional artist, sculptor and researcher into traditional costumes was one of the co-founders of the provincial association of Carinthia and the Carinthian State Museum. In 1911 he was tasked with designing a traditional men’s costume for Carinthia by theprovincial association, to replace the grey Styrian suit, which, until then, was also worn in Carinthia. He subsequently designed the nut-brown Carinthian suit with its green collar and trim, worn with a black waistcoat decorated with small flowers, which is still the traditional costume for Carinthian men to this day. Resch then designed the blue spotted dirndl, referred to in honour of its designer as the Resch-dirndl, as the traditional costume for women.

Traditional costumes remain extremely popular to this day. In addition to the traditional costume for the entire province of Carinthia, there are around eighty other officially registered variants of traditional dress to be found in Austria’s most southerly province.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Iceland 2010 - Norden by the Sea, Life at the Coast

Technical Details:
Issue Date: 18 March 2010
Designer: Elsa Nielsen, EnnEmm
Printer: Joh. Enschedé Security Print
Process: Offset Litho
Colours: 4-colour offset
Size: 105 x 70 mm
Values: 150.00 ISK

About Norden by the Sea. - Life at the Coast

A new series of Nordic stamps with the theme Norden by the Sea commences with the present souvenir sheet. The Nordic countries are separated, or united, by the water surrounding them. The coasts offer great variation, with long stretches of sandy beaches or smooth rocks. The people living along the coasts have always adapted to and drawn on their proximity to the sea. New enterprises are springing up alongside the traditional industries of shipping and fishing, for example. Energy production, fish farming and tourism are just some of the businesses that are growing ever more important in our coastal areas. Few nations depend more on ocean and coastal preservation than Iceland. Using strict measures Iceland managed to put an end to overfishing and reduce ocean pollution. Important fish stocks were strengthened. The first herring factories were erected in Siglufjörður and the herring boom bolstered the Icelandic economy. Close contact with harsh nature demands that Iceland makes sustainable use of living ocean resources.

Iceland 2019 - The Icelandic Postal Workers Union - 100th Anniversary

Technical Details:
Issue Date: 07 February 2019
Designer: Örn Smári Gíslason
Printer: Cartor Security Printing
Process: Offset Litho
Size: 30 x 40 mm
Values: 50g domestic

About The Icelandic Postal Workers Union - 100th Anniversary

The Icelandic Postal Workers Union was founded in Reykjavik on March 26, 1919. The history of Icelandic postmen can be traced back to 1776 when King Christian VII issued a directive establishing domestic postal services in Iceland. The first Icelandic mailman was Ari Guðmundsson, who travelled extensively with mail through the forbidding mountain regions of the Westfjords.

When the union was formed, the Icelandic labour movement was in its early stages. Iceland had recently gained sover­ eignty and there was a general sense of social recovery and revival. In 1932, its members were 73 in number, but today they number 900. The union ́s main task is to safeguard the interests of Icelandic postal workers and to ensure improve­ ments in their working conditions.

The Icelandic Postal Workers Union has grown a lot in stature with its growing membership numbers. It is now one of the strong pillars of the Federation of State and Municipal Employees (BSRB) and an important force in the labour movement. In 2001, only one quarter of the members were still employed by the official Post and Telephone, which on January 1, 1997, made way for Post and Telephone Ltd. and a year later Iceland Post. Despite these changes, the union continues to promote social justice and foster human values.

Iceland 2017 - SEPAC, Handcraft - The Icelandic Sweater

Technical Details: 
Issue Date: 27 April 2017
Designer: Elsa Nielsen
Printer: Joh. Enschedé Security Print
Process: Offset Litho (CMYK)
Size: 30 x 30 mm
Values: 50g

About SEPAC - Handcraft - The Icelandic Sweater

The joint SEPAC stamp motif is local or typical handcraft. The Icelandic stamp features an Icelandic sweater. The pattern shown, ”Álafoss pattern no. 51”, is a very characteristic one. It was probably affected by foreign knitting traditions introduced by magazines on embroidery and fashion. The Greenland national dress and Norwegian knitting patterns may also have influenced the pattern. When Icelandic women began to adopt foreign knitting patterns and work on them according to the properties of the local material, Icelandic sweaters started resembling their foreign models, but its patterns and colors were coarser. This was due to the yarn being more fragile than the spun band. Sweaters were therefore usually knitted from three threads simultaneously. This made the garment warmer and more durable. The sweater became standardized in its traditional form in the late sixties. In the seventies, it became a popular export. It became less popular in the eighties, but now it seems to have regained its former popularity, especially among foreign tourists. The sweater has its special woolen character and its roots in the culture of contemporary Icelanders are quite solid.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Malaysia 2013 - The Baba & Nyonya Heritage

Technical Details:
Date of Issue: 29 November 2013
Stamp Value: 60 sen (setenant), 80 sen (setenant)
Miniature Sheet Value: RM5.00
Stamp Size: 30mm x 48mm
Perforation: 14
Miniature Sheet Size: 85mm x 100mm
Stamp Size In Miniature Sheet: 50mm x 60mm
Sheet Content: 20 Stamps
Paper: Yellow Green Phosphor 102gsm
Printing Process: Litography
Printer: Cartor Security Printing
Stamp Designer: Reign Associates Sdn Bhd

The Baba & Nyonya Heritage
The Babas & Nyonyas referred to the descendants of late 15th to 19th century Chinese immigrants to the Malay archipelago. Baba is the address for the men, and Nyonya for the women.

The Babas & Nyonyas are partially assimilated into the Malay culture, especially in food, dress and spoken language, while retaining some of the Chinese traditions and culture such as religion, name, folk medicine and festivals.

60sen - Nyonyaware
Nyonyaware is characterized by its decorative motives and the most vivid and colourful familiar rose enamels. The stamp features a covered jar called ‘kamcheng’ – variously used as a container for water, pickles and other types of food. Also featured are ceramic spoons, plate and cups with features of phoenix and peonies – symbols of prosperity and good fortune.

60sen - Nyonya Beaded Slippers
The beaded slippers is one of the most popular Nyonya object still found today. The technique of making such footwear is also one of the few crafts leftover from the golden age of the Baba & Nyonya. The beaded slippers were either opened face or covered. The popular motives used for the pattern were flowers, birds, butterflies and fruits.

80sen - Malacca Peranakan Townhouse
The typical Baba & Nyonya townhouse features neo-classical pediments, pillars and stucco decorations over windows, combined with the local tradition of timber craftsmanship. House fronts are usually heavily decorated with brightly colored hand-painted tiles and Chinese characters painted in gold on large black backgrounds. The Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum on Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock in Malacca showchases on of the most well-preserved 19th century Baba & Nyonya residence.

80sen - Baba & Nyonya Wedding Attire
The wedding costume is colourful and elaborate. The headdress worn by the bride is made out of more than a hundred gold and silver hair pins that are put into the hair to form a crown. On her chest and wrists she wears numerous jewelry and accessories. The costumes are made from damask silk and either couched with gold thread or covered with coloured thread embroidery. The groom’s jacket and hat are that of the Manchu gentry of old China. he has a traditional Chinese fan on his hand and boots as footwear.

MS RM5 - Nyonya Kebaya Embroidery
The Nyonya kebaya first appeared only in the early 20th century. The early versions features rather simple embroidery work, but later, especially from the 1960s onwards, a more exquisite and intricate embroidery began to emerge. While the early kebayas are hand sewn, the Nyonya kebaya today is embroidered using the sewing machine with flower motives being the favourite theme. The miniature sheet feature a Nyonya kebaya, which won the UNESCO Award of Excellence for Handicraft 2012. The stamp within the miniature sheet feature a composition of Malaysian fruit, with holes cut on the paper resembling the embroidery.

Technical Details:
Date of Issue: 01 December 2014
Denomination: RM 50
Stamp Size: 25 mm x 35 mm x 0.1 mm
Weight: 1.46 +/-0.05g
Metal: Copper Plated with 22 K Gold
Technique: Stamping
Special Feature: Fine and Elegant Stamping
Printing: Cartor Security Printing
Designer: Pos Malaysia Berhad
Acknowledgements: Muzium Negara, Persatuan Baba & Nyonya Kuala Lumpur, Cedric Tan, Lim Swee Kim, Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum


Technical Details:
Date of Issue: 12 February 2015
Denomination: RM 35
Miniature Sheet Size: 85 mm x 100 mm
Stamp Size: 50 mm x 60 mm
Technique: Lithography & Embroidery
Paper: Yellow Green Phosphor 103gsm
Printing: Cartor Security Printing
Designer: Reign Associates Sdn Bhd
Acknowledgements: Persatuan Baba & Nyonya Kuala Lumpur, Cedric Tan, Lim Swee Kim

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

South Korea 2019 - The Style of Hanbok

Technical Details:
Date of Issue: 09 September 2019
Quantity: 672,000
Denomination: KRW 380
Printing Process: Offset 4 Colors
Size of Stamp: 30 mm x 40 mm
Image Area: 38.5 mm x 40 mm
Perforation: 13 1/4 x 13
Sheet Composition: 4 x 4 (165 mm x 185 mm)
Paper: White Unwatermarked
Designer: Shin Jaeyong
Printer: Southern Colour Print for POSA
380 Korean Won - The 1500s Hanbok
380 Korean Won - The 1600s - 1700s Hanbok
380 Korean Won - The 1800s Hanbok
380 Korean Won - The 1900s Hanbok

The Style of Hanbok

Korea Post is issuing commemorative postage stamps to promote the exquisite beauty of the hanbok which the world has great admiration for and also to nurture Korea's clothing culture.

While the hanbok has gone through a number of changes in keeping with the times, it is the only traditional attire in the world that has retained its fundamental structure. The men's hanbok isi comprised of Jeogori, Baji, Po, and Gwanmo for the head. The most basic components of the women's hanbook are Jeogori and Chima while the full attire can be completed with the addition of the beoseon, a tie belt, and shoes.

Referring to the traditional clothing artifacts from the 16th to 20th centuries, we have created commemorative stamps that feature the transformations of the hanbok over time. As the hanbok signified the wearer's social status in the 16th century, it was designed to impress, boasting both a great length and width, regardless of the wearer's physique. Thus, after the Japanese invasion, the 17th century saw distinctively practical changes to the design of the hanbok.. Jeogori was narrowed and shortened so that it hovered above the waist of the Chima, which made it possible to produce more clothes with a lesser amount of material. In the later period of Joseon in the 19th century, through the reign of Yeongjo and Jeongjo, the design of the hanbok became more diversified while the basic structure consisted of a close-fitting Jeogori and a wide bottom with the shape of a bell. A Jang-ot, an outerwear worn by upper class women, acquired another use as the women began to wear it as a veil to cover their faces. On the other hand, in the 20th century, the types of Jeogori were simplified, and the length of Jeogori in the history of the hanbok. In fact, it was shortened to such an extent that there appeared an article in the Jeguk Sinmun that said "(women's) Jeogori should be lengthened so as not to reveal any flesh."

As Korea's traditional attire, the hanbok has gone through a series of transformations that reflects the prevalent living culture and circumstances as well as aesthetics of the time while still maintaining its graceful beauty and unique value. We hope that the issuance of these commemorative stamps will provide an opportunity to appreciate the importance and meaning of the hanbok.