Monday, 23 February 2015

Hologram stamp: Belarus

Republic of Belarus, is situated in Europe.  It is surrounded by Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.  Its capital is Minsk and the currency is Belarusian ruble.  Belarusian and Russian are the two official languages of the country.

Belarus got its Independence on 25th August 1991.  To  commemorate its 10th Anniversary, Belpost has issued a Hologram stamp of value 500Br.  The stamp depicts the National Emblem on the background of Republic of Belarus flag.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

February 23: Rotary Day

February 23, is a World Rotary Day. 

Rotary International, founded on February 23, 1905, in Chicago, Illinois USA, is the world’s first and one of the largest non-profit Humanitarian service organizations.

Meetings were held each week at members’ offices, in ‘rotation’, hence the name Rotary.  

The above stamp was issued on 23rd February, 2005 commemorating the Rotary International Century of Service.

Sherlock Holmes on Stamps

Since I am a big fan of Sherlock Holmes, I bought a a set of 8 stamps issued by Alderney on Sherlock Holmes.The scan of these stamps are shown below.

 Alderney issued these stamps in the year 2009 in order to commemorate Arthur Conan Doyle's 150th Birth Anniversary. These stamps depict a scene from one of the series from the collection, The Curious Case of the Alderney Bull. Avid Sherlock fans might be wondering if they Doyle ever wrote such a story. In fact, he did not. The story was written by Keith Robinson and was sponsored by Alderney to accompany the stamps!

You can find a little bit more information here and here. I couldn't find the full story online. If you do, please share the link :)

World Thinking Day (WTD): Update

World Thinking Day is a day of friendship, advocacy and fundraising for 10 million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the world.

Thinking Day was first created in 1926 at the fourth Girl Guide/Girl Scout International Conference. Conference attendees decided that there should be a special day for Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from around the world to "think" of each other and give thanks and appreciation to their "sister" Girl Scouts. The delegates chose February 22 as the date for Thinking Day because it was the mutual birthday of Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scout movement, and his wife, Olave, who served as World Chief Guide.
In 1932, at the seventh World Conference, held in Poland, a Belgian delegate suggested that since birthdays usually involve presents, girls could show their appreciation and friendship on Thinking Day not only by extending warm wishes but by offering a voluntary contribution to the World Association. This is how the World Association's Thinking Day Fund began. The fund helps offer Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting to more girls and young women worldwide. 

Above, you can see an Indian stamp issued in 1970 for the Diamond jubilee of Girl Guide Movement.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

21st February: International Mother language Day

In 1999, UNESCO meeting emphasized the importance of the mother tongue and the need to preserve the heritage and cultural diversity related to the mother tongue. There are more than 7000 languages spoken all around the world. Except few hundred most of them are almost going to be extinct because of globalization.

In 1952, 21st February Bengali students of various Universities and Colleges rose up against the Pakistan's advocation of Urdu as the sole National language(In 1952, Bangladesh was part of Pakistan and it was called East Pakistan).  They protested against this order and asked for inclusion of Bangla, their mother tongue as one of the two National Languages of the then Pakistan. When they were marching near the High Court, Dhaka few students were shot and killed by the police.

To honour those Bangladeshi martyrs, UNESCO decided to observe 21st February as the "International Mother Language Day" (IMLD).  Since 2000, this day is observed as the IMLD all around the world to preserve linguistic and cultural diversity.  Not only that, UNESCO announced 2008 as a International year of Languages.

Every year UNESCO observes this day with focus on some theme.  In 2013 the theme was "Books for Mother Tongue Education" and 2014 it was "Local languages for global citizenship: Spotlight on Science".  For 2015, the theme is "Inclusion in and through education:  Language counts" in line with  Nelson Mandela's quote "If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head.  If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart".

 The above stamp issued in the year 2010 has not directly related to the Mother language Day but the background of the stamp shows  four languages (including my Mother Language) Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam, which are called Dravidian languages.  

Friday, 13 February 2015

Wood Stamp: Helvetia's (Switzerland) First Wood Stamp

After the World's first Embroidery stamp and Chocolate stamp, Swiss Post came up with a novel idea of issuing a stamp using Wood in  the  year 2004,   That too from a high quality timber of 120 year old trees grown in Seon and Staufen.  Each tree's diameter is around 70 to 80 cm. This Wood stamp is a limited edition ready to use stamp, means double sided tape is attached to the back of the stamp.  Each tree is unique in its structure, so is each stamp and the thickness of each stamp is 0.7 mm.

Thanks Mr. Anil Reddy for gifting me this unique stamp.

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