Friday, 29 August 2014

Clusius Gentian: Austria, Embroidery stamp

Gentiana Clusii  is a mountain flower which is mainly found in Alpine mountains and native to Europe.  It is commonly known as Clusius Gentian and got its name from the botanist who studied Alphine Flora.

It is a perennial herb.  Flowers are bell-shaped and blue in colour. It blooms from May to July.

Like Edelweiss this is also a protected flower.

Even though Poland, Switzerland and other countries issued stamps of this flower, the one issued by Austria in 19 September,  2008 is a special one because it is a self-adhesive embroidery stamp.

Thursday, 28 August 2014


While I am writing this article, the Edelweiss flower should be blooming in the mountains of Austria, Switzerland etc.  July to September is the blooming season of this flower.  Edelweiss is a German word which means "Noble and White".

Edelweiss is a well-known mountain flower which belongs to daisy or sunflower family.  The petals are unequally distributed.   This flower is becoming popular because it is not only used in skin care industry but also used in folk medicines for abdominal and respiratory diseases. 

Throughout history Edelweiss symbolizes courage, truth and hope.  This white flower with golden dusty middle is a National symbol of Austria and Switzerland.

It is a protected plant in many countries including Austria, India.

Embroidery is a needlework done on materials with yarn or thread.  Austria's embroidery work dates back to 18th century.  To commemorate this art work Austria Post has issued a embroidery stamp of "Edelweiss flower" on 19th July 2005.

Monday, 25 August 2014

31st August: Malaya (Malaysia) Independence Day

31st August, 1957 Federation of Malaya (Now Malaysia) got its independence from the British  Rule.  It is celebrated as Hari Merdeka.  Hari Merdeka is the short form of "Hari Kemerdekaan".  Merdeka means Independence or freedom.

On 16th September, 1963 the Federation of Malaya is included three new states, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak and got its new name Malaysia.  After two years, Singapore left the federation on 9th August 1965.

From 1970 on-wards themes have been introduced for the celebration of the National Day.  The first theme was "Muhibah dan Perpaduan" which means "Love and Unity". This year's theme is "Malaysia, Disni Lahirnya Sebuah Cinta (Malaysia, Where Love Grows)".

The Indian connection:  The Malay and Indonesian word "Merdeka"  is derived from the Sanskrit word "Maharddhika" meaning "Rich, Prosperous and Powerful".
The handing over of independence to Federation of Malaya was witnessed by many foreign dignitaries including the then Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru.
The above stamp was issued in 1957 on occasion of the Independence.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

12th August: World Elephant Day

African elephants and Asian elephants are two predominant elephant varieties of the world.  Asian elephants are smaller than their cousin African ones and their ears are also smaller in size.  Once there were as many as elephants as human beings. But now they are few in numbers.

We human beings have wiped out their habitat and also poach them for their skin, meat and mainly for its ivory tusks.  Elephants tusks are costlier than gold in street markets especially in China and India.

Even though some religions worshiping elephants, these friendly animals are used for pleasure rides, carrying logs and begging on the roads.

To protect these poor creatures 12th August is celebrated as the World Elephant Day. This day was founded in the year 2011 by Canadian film maker, Patricia Sims and Michael Clarke. They named it Elephant Reintroduction Foundation. This day was then first celebrated in the year 2012. Since that day on World Elephant Day is celebrated annually every year and is now supported by over 65 wild life organizations 

Large Ears are clearly visible in this issue from South Africa around 1954

Two stamps issues by India in 2011

Zambian Stamp circa 1979 titled 'Kasaba Bay' of Lake Tanganyika

Colonial Spanish Stamps - Year unknown

Thursday, 14 August 2014

15th August: India Independence Day

India is celebrating its 68th Independence Day today, 15th August, 2014.  This year's  Independence Day is so special because 2014 shares the same calendar as 1947, in which India got its Independence from the British Rule. 

The above stamp was issued by the India Post for the 25th Anniversary of Independence.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Venus of Willendorf - 3D stamp

In Willendorf, Austria near Danube river Archeologists have found a sculpture of a woman in 7th August 1908. They named it "Venus of Willendorf".  This obese, naked woman with curly hair statue was made of limestone.  The paint remains of the this sculpture shows that it must be painted with red ochre. This sculpture is now kept in Natural and History Museum in Vienna.

This significant Arichelogical finding which dates back to 30,000 to 25,000 BC was issued as a 3D lenticular stamp by the Austrian Post in the year 2008, to celebrate 100 years of its finding.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Heritage Sites of India Through Stamps

Recently I had a chance to do a project on Heritage sites of India.  I decided to take this opportunity to showcase my stamps. This is the second project I am doing with stamps (Earlier I did one project about Chennai using stamps). Through this I am trying to show that stamps are also helpful in your school work/studies. Click on the images to see a larger version..

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