Sunday, November 22, 2009

Solomon Islands - Health Care 1991

0.05 Cents - Coconut water is sweet
0.75 Cents - Feed your child 4-5 times a day
0.80 Cents - Mother's milk is best
0.90 Cents - Local food is best (for your health)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Papua New Guinea - Wood Carving Objects 1964

Tokelau - Fishing 1982

0.05 Cents - Octopus Lure
0.18 Cents - Multiple Hook Fishing
0.23 Cents - Ruvettus Fishing
0.34 Cents - Netting Flying Fish
0.63 Cents - Noose Fishing
0.75 Cents - Bonito Fishing

Tokelau - Christmas 1988

0.05 Cents - Na Makoi
0.20 Cents - He Tala
0.40 Cents - Fakagagalo Ki Aikupito
0.60 Cents - Meaalofa Kilihimahi
0.70 Cents - Pepe Ko Iesu
1.00 NZD - Holo Tamilo

Tokelau - Canoe Games 1978

Friday, November 13, 2009

Papua New Guinea - Folklore Costumes 1977

1.00 Kina - Wasara
2.00 Kina - Mekeo

Papua New Guinea - Folklore Costumes 1978

Malaysia - Traditional Transportation 2004

Traditional Transportation

Technical Details:
Date of Issue: 18 August 2004
Stamp Value : 30 Sen; 50 Sen & RM1.00
Sheet Content : 20 Stamps
Perforation: 14
Paper: Watermarked, Phosphor Coated
Printing Process: Lithography
Printer: Percetakan Keselamatan Nasional Sdn. Bhd.
Designer : Reign Associates

In the days before automobiles, there were various modes of transportation that people in Malaysia used, in accordance to the prevalent needs and cultures.
People from different races and cultures brought and introduced different kinds of transportation, but all with the same objective of getting to one place to another.

30 Cent - Trishaw (Beca)
This trishaw originated from Parit Jawa, Muar, Johore. It is painted in green, red, black and yellow, the favourite colours of the era. The hood, made of canvas, can easily be opened or closed when necessary. The seat is made from coconut husk and is complete with a backrest. The trishaw can carry two adult passengers and one or two children.

50 Cent - Rickshaw (Lanca)
The two-wheeled rickshaw was normally used by the rich Babas and Nyonyas in Malacca. It needed a strong man to pull the rickshaw around town, usually with only one passenger, for a leisure ride and to go shopping.

1.00 Ringgit - Padi Horse (Kuda Padi)
The padi horse is synonymous with the Bajau community in Kota Belud, Sabah. It also serves as a family status. A famous and influential family would usually own many horses. The padi horse is used as a mode of transport to the padi fields or towns, as well as for the village head to patrol the village. It is also ridden during important social functions or celebrations like weddings and the annual Tamu Besar event.

2.00 Ringgit - Bullock Cart (Kereta Lembu)
The bullock cart was used as a means of transportation since the 1400's and is believed to have been introduced by the Indian community in Malacca. Other than for carrying passengers, it was also used to carry goods. A pair of healthy bulls were usually hitched to pull the cart.

Western Samoa - Beauty of Samoa 2004

Samoan Beauties
Date of issue: 15 December 2004

Theme: Mankind (Women)
Width: 42.0 mm
Height: 25.0 mm
Denomination: 0.25WST ; 0.70WST ; 0,90WST ; 4.00WST
Number in set: 4
Perforation: 13.20 by 13.20
Stamp issuing authority: Samoatel
Printer: Wyatt and Wilson

0.25WST Woman
0.70WST Women on beach
0.90WST Woman
4.00WST Woman wearing ceremonial clothing

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Great Britain - Royal Navy Uniforms 2009

Royal Navy Uniforms

Date of issue: 17 September 2009
Primary Theme: Military Uniforms
Width: 27.0 mm
Height: 37.0 mm
Denomination: 1st Class; 0.90 GBP;
Number in set: 6
Perforations: 14 by 14
Stamp issuing: Royal Mail of Great Britain
Printer: Walsall Security Printers

1st Class – Royal Navy Uniforms - Flight Deck Officer 2009
High visibility clothing is essential on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier.

1st Class - Royal Navy Uniforms - Captain 1941
Keeping warm and dry on convoy duty during World War II often meant supplementing uniform issue with extra clothing.

1st Class - Royal Navy Uniforms - Second Officer WRNS 1918
Women fulfilled a vital role during both world wars, here a Women’s Royal Navy Service Officer demonstrates how to use a gas mask.

0.90 GBP - Royal Navy Uniforms - Able Seaman 1880
The familiar uniform for seamen became standardized in the 19th Century.

0.90 GBP - Royal Navy Uniforms - Royal Marine 1805
The Royal Marines served both on ship and in land engagements, like their Army counterparts they were issued with the typical Red Coat of the period.

0.90 GBP - Royal Navy Uniforms - Admiral 1795
Officers were the first naval personnel to wear uniform, rank was shown with gold lace.

This special issue traces the change from the ostentation of a 1795 Admirals uniform through to the sheer functionality of present day flight deck garb.

Great Britain - RAF (Royal Air Force) Uniforms 2008

RAF (Royal Air Force) Uniforms

Date of issue: 18 September 2008
Primary Theme: Military Uniforms
Width: 27.0 mm
Height: 37.0 mm
Denomination: 1st Class; 0.81 GBP;
Number in set: 6
Perforations: 14 by 14
Stamp issuing: Royal Mail of Great Britain
Printer: Walsall Security Printers

1st Class - RAF Uniforms - Drum Major RAF Central Band 2007
Pomp and ceremony, and the dress that goes with them, still have great value in projecting the public image of the RAF.

1st Class - RAF Uniforms - Helicopter Rescue Winchman 1984
High visibility and protection against exposure to ice cold water are incorporated in the Immersion Suit used by Rescue Helicopter Winchmen.

1st Class - RAF Uniforms - Hawker Hunter Pilot 1951
The coming of the Jet Age meant that flying clothing laid greater emphasis on physical and physiological protection than providing warmth.

0.81 GBP - RAF Uniforms - Lancaster Air Gunner 1944
The electrically-heated Taylor Buoyancy Suit was special provided for Air Gunners isolated in their gun turrets in the rear of the fuselage of bomber aircraft.

0.81 GBP - RAF Uniforms - Plotter WAAF 1940
Smart, comfortable and serviceable, Airwomen's No.1 Dress remained unchanged in design until 1955.

0.81 GBP - RAF Uniforms - Pilot 1918
Developed from motoring garments, WWI flying clothing had to provide warmth and protection from the intense cold at altitude.

Royal Mail have carefully selected six uniforms which bring to life the many aspects of the RAF; from pilots to plotters and from winchman to Drum Major.
The figures are illustrated by Graham Turner who created last year's British Army Uniforms and has once again brought incredible levels of detail to this anniversary issue.

Great Britain - British Army Uniforms 2007

British Army Uniforms

Date of issue: 20 September 2007
Primary Theme: Military Uniforms
Width: 27.0 mm
Height: 37.0 mm
Denomination: 1st Class; 0.78 GBP
Number in set: 6
Perforations: 14 by 14
Stamp issuing: Royal Mail of Great Britain
Printer: Joh Enshede Security Print

Consisting of two lovely se-tenant strips of three First Class stamps and three 78p stamps,
Each one bears an illustration of a uniformed soldier in action,
by artist Graham Turner:

1st Class - British Army Uniforms - NCO Royal Military Police 1999
A military police NCO from Kosovo.

1st Class - British Army Uniforms - Tank Commander 5th Royal Tank Regiment 1944
A tank commander from the Second World War.

1st Class - British Army Uniforms - Observer Royal Field Artillery 1917
An artillery observer from World War One.

0.78 GBP - British Army Uniforms - Rifleman 95th Rifles 1813
A rifleman from the Peninsula War.

0.78 GBP - British Army Uniforms - Grenadier Royal Regiment of Foot of Ireland 1704
A grenadier from the battle of Blenheim.

0.78 GBP - British Army Uniforms - The Trooper Earl of Oxford's Horse 1661
A trooper from the Earl of Oxford's Horse from around the time of the restoration of King Charles II.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Miniature Sheet Fashion ( five 1st class stamps )
Issued: 06 May 2009
Laura Laine
1st class
Number in set:
Layout/ Format:
Self adhesive miniature sheet of 5 of 5 designs
14 by 14
Stamp Size:
30.0mm x 45.0mm ; 30.0mm x 35.0mm
Stamp issuing authority:
Itella Corporation Finland
Joh Enschede Security Printer

High heels and swaying hemlines! Minna Parikka is one of the top names among Finnish shoe designers. Her highly feminine footwear is now sold in ten countries, with the flagship store in Helsinki. Minna Parikka’s red high heels can now also be seen on one of the stamps of the Fashion miniature sheet. They are accompanied by beautiful shoes by Julia Lundsten which are depicted on the next stamp.

Lundsten’s stylish signature wooden heels have won the admiration even of the king of shoe designers, Manolo Blahnik, who has called them “divine” and “perfect”. The wooden-heeled pump shown on the stamp is made of fish skin. Lundsten’s creations are sold in Tokyo, London, New York and other great cities.
The miniature sheet features elegant accessories in the form of the Lumi handbag designed by Sanna Kantola. Sanna Kantola and Bruno Beaugrand founded the Lumi brand in New York nine years ago, and today Lumi bags are sold in 25 countries.

Fashion designer Jasmin Santanen lives and works in Paris. This spring she unveiled at the Paris fashion festival a luxurious open party outfit, which has now been immortalised on a stamp.
This year’s spring collection also includes an outfit designer by Tuomas Laitinen and his sister, artist Anna Laitinen, the rear view of which is shown on the Fashion miniature sheet. This angle was chosen because of the outfit’s amusing “penguin cut”. A collection by the Laitinens won shared first place in the prestigious French Hyères fashion design competition in France in 2006. Today the LAITINEN accessory brand is sold in France, Japan, Hong Kong and elsewhere. The woman in purple on the left-hand edge of the miniature sheet is a filler picture. Laura Laine produced the illustrations for the miniature sheet.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Denmark - 350th Anniversary of the Royal Life Guards 2008

350th Anniversary of the Royal Life Guards

Date of issue:
27 March 2008
Prices & Motifs:
DKK 5.50 Guardsmen in red full-dress uniform
DKK 10.00 Guardsmen in combat uniform
Motif on minisheet:
Guardsman with watch bag
Photos: Sandra Greig
Post Danmark, Stamps
Martin Morck
Method of printing:
Intaglio/ offset
Post Danmark, Stamps

King Frederik III founded the Royal Life Guards, known as "Our Regiment of Guards on Foot", in 1658. Denmark was at war with Sweden in those troubled times, so Frederik had good reason to set up the Guards. The regiment was formed to guarantee the safety of the King, his family and his castle, and to train and recruit soldiers for the Danish army - duties that the Royal Life Guards fulfil to this day.

Since they were formed, the Guards have served with honour in every Danish war, always living up to their reputation as an elite unit. Many guardsmen have served abroad on UN, NATO and coalition missions - most recently in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. Both at home and abroad, the Guards are probably best known for their trademark bearskin hats, worn while on guard duty at Amalienborg Castle. The Guards perform all of their duties with pride and honour, under the motto "Pro Rege et Grege" ("For King and people").

The Royal Life Guards' Band plays a key role in both the unit's and the armed forces' ceremonial duties. When Her Majesty is in residence at Amalienborg, the band provides musical accompaniment to the changing of the guard on the streets of Copenhagen, to the delight of locals and tourist alike.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Japan - Kabuki Theatre 1991

A wonderful combination of ancient traditions and cutting-edge modern life, Japan has it all. It is one of the world’s most fascinating places to visit as many wonders and revelation await you. You can try your hand at Origami, the popular art of paper folding, or take a walk down the serene paths of a temple or you may step into a theatre and take in a performance - the Kabuki Theatre is a must see in Japan as it is the most famous of the traditional Japanese theatres and depicts one of the various aspects of performing arts.

Kabuki originated in the Edo period and was more popular with the lower social class as compared to the higher social classes. The word 'Kabuki' is composed of three Japanese characters: 'ka' meaning 'songs', 'bu' meaning 'dance' and 'ki' meaning 'skill'. Its more likely a Japanese version of Shakespeare’s plays being performed in an Opera. But Kabuki is more entertaining, energetic and awesome in the use of color, makeup, movements and often other spectacular effects.

The passion for Kabuki Theatre began with first performance by the shrine dancer Okuni at Kyoto in 1603. This performance was a unique blend of folk dance and religious dance and soon became popular with the lower classes. In the early phase of the 17th century, women were banned from performing because women performers were lured to the business of prostitution and were getting undue attention from male admirers. This led to the development of art of female impersonation wherein males also played female parts. The beginning of the 18th century marked the development of Kabuki into a more matured form and was starting to become popular even with the higher classes of society.

Kabuki plays are composed of certain varying elements that help it become so colorful and glamorous. These elements include: Story, Musical Elements, Dramatic Content, Dance, Costume, Make-up, Theatre Design, and Actor/Audience Relationship. Kabuki plays are about society in a particular period, historical events, moral conflicts, love relationships etc. and are performed using a combination of dramatic dialogue and dance, and accompanied by drums, flutes, stringed instruments

called shamisen, and chanting. The Kabuki music also employs special spectacular audio-effects. The most exceptional among them is the sounding of wooden clappers signaling the opening and the closing of a Kabuki play. The actors/performers wear costumes that reflect the contemporary styles of the day. The costumes play a major role to emphasize the character’s role being portrayed by the performer, as they themselves are full of complexity and hidden meaning. Along with the costumes, make-up is also considered as an integral part of Kabuki performance. The theatrical designs have changed over a period of time, ranging from raised platforms on a riverbed to the modern day theatres having rotating stages and a whole range of gadgets. The last but not the least is the Actor-Audience Relationship as there are instances in a Kabuki play when an actor would come out of his role and address the audience directly.

Kabuki performers are very famous in Japan and this theatrical art is usually passed from one family generation to the next, but the National Theater in Tokyo also has a school for training young and upcoming performers. The costumes and conventions of the traditional Kabuki are still being incorporated in the modern Kabuki plays. However, the new generation performers are finding out new ways to update plays in-order to attract more and more audiences.

You can only appreciate the theatrical creativity of this art form by visiting a Kabuki performance and a good tip would be to go with a Japanese national who is familiar with the Kabuki Theatre.

Japan - Kabuki Theatre 1992

Kabuki is a traditional Japanese form of theater with its origins in the Edo period. In contrast to the older Japanese art forms such as Noh, Kabuki was the popular culture of the common townspeople and not of the higher social classes.

Kabuki plays are about historical events, moral conflicts, love relationships and the like. The actors use an old fashioned language which is difficult to understand even for some Japanese people. Actors speak in monotonous voices accompanied by traditional Japanese instruments.

Kabuki takes place on a rotating stage (kabuki no butai). The stage is further equipped with several gadgets like trapdoors through which the actors can appear and disappear. Another specialty of the kabuki stage is a footbridge (hanamichi) that leads through the audience.

In the early years, both men and women acted in Kabuki plays. Later during the Edo period, the Tokugawa shogunate forbade women from acting, a restriction that survives to the present day. Several male kabuki actors are therefore specialists in playing female roles (onnagata).

The best place for tourists to see a kabuki play is in the Kabukiza Theater in the Ginza district of Tokyo. Here, it is possible to rent English headphones and see just one act of a play instead of sitting through a whole performance, which often lasts more than three hours.

Note that during kabuki plays, it is common for fans in the audience to shout the name of their favorite actor just in the right moment during short pauses.