Sunday Stamps 034: Christmas stamps fund fight against TB

From the South American continent, this week we feature stamps from the great continent of Africa.

My stamps for this week comes from Suid Afrika (South Africa) which was issued in 1966:

An online auction site says this is a one-of-a-kind issue.
This is a full sheet of mint Christmas stamps, oh what a joy! I have to thank my bestfriend, Fe, for sending this to me, along with postcards and stamps from Botswana. Salamat, Fe!
Christmas stamps were issued and sold worldwide to raise money for charity through the Christmas Stamp Fund. Proceeds were used for things such as Tuberculosis (TB). South Africa was one of the later countries to issue Christmas stamps (in 1929). Various themes are featured on these stamps, from culture, landmarks, nature, traditional arts or folk art, costumes, produce, and nature and wildlife that represent South Africa. The map of South Africa serves as the background of the sheet – very clever, in my opinon – the colourful artwork and the blue ocean pops out of the page. One of the notable features to me is that  the stamps in the sheet were alternately in  English and Afrikaan. Also of particular interest in the stamp design is the cross with two horizontal bars, which is the patriarchal cross, that has become known as the international symbol for the fight against TB. It is also known as the Cross of Lorraine. 
The South African Christmas stamp 1966 was issued in support of Sunshine homes in South Africa. I could not find any info about Sunshine homes but I’m assuming it is a centre caring and providing treatment for people afflicted with TB. This makes me also wonder…  Now that TB is no longer considered a deadly disease, I wonder if the Christmas Stamp Fund provides funding to research on other diseases such as mental illnesses and new methods of treatments, like dual diagnosis treatment and many more.
I found this comprehensive information on South African Christmas stamps.

Sunday Stamps 017: Folk arts from all over the world



This week was very hectic that my post for this week was somewhat in limbo. I was leisurely surfing the net,  toggling one window with news about the developments of the volcano eruption in Iceland to another window with eyelastin reviews for awhile, when I suddenly realised that my Sunday Stamps draft needs publishing. I was about to hit the publish button earlier today when the power went out, thus, the delay…

I have several stamps that fall under the specified categories for this week’s theme begging to be featured. As much as I’d like to, I’m not going to get carried away this time so I’m limiting my choices to only a few.

I’d like to begin with … FOOD!

The above stamp is a part of the seven-set and souvenir sheet issued by the Portuguese Postal Office in a series called “Sabores da Lusofonia”, meaning, flavors of Lusophony. Lusophony is a collective word referring to Portuguese-speaking countries, so the series features some of the most interesting influences of Portuguese gastronomy  on countries who share the Portuguese language. The above dish is from Africa’s Cape Verde called Do-cozido à cachupa (a stew, basically, of pork, chicken, carrots, potatoes, garbanzos, and many others). I have also another stamp from the same series featuring no caloeira tempura which I featured in the previous Sunday Stamps.

Next… traditional costumes. So many to choose from but here’s what I randomly picked out from the lot:

A part of the 5-set definitive stamps issued in 1994, showing the traditional costumes of Cyprus. This one is affixed in a postcard that was sent to my husband’s Grandma, from a cousin who went to Cyprus for a holiday some twenty years ago. This postcard is now in my possession, having inherited my husband’s grandma’s postcard collection three years ago.


And last,  but definitely not the least… the textiles of Croatia.


In 2008, the Croatian Post launched a five-set postage stamps each representing regional motifs of folk costumes. Sunja, magical flowers that survived from the Baroque altar cloth on the aprons from Posavina and still exude scents; Bistra, corals that have come from the Pannonian Sea and in clinking, dark red rows enrich the blouses from Prigorje; Bizovac, the dialectics of the Slavonian full-empty gold-embroidery; and the thick weave of dark earthen colour – the “interior combustion” of Ravni Kotari. I love these folk arts/handicrafts from Croatia and really commend those who still do this up to now, thus preserving traditional arts and culture.

What we refer to as folk art is the outcome of longer, slowed-down time. History has always been created by individuals, and this also applies to art. However, art has only slowly been deposited in the awareness, resting rolled up for a lot longer than the passage of events, in mutually unconnected mounts and vales, across seven rivers and seventy seven mountains. What used to be enduring and persevering – dialects, fashion, surnames, customs, meals, tools, jobs and days… – all of these were local, unique, different and individual; all of these have nowadays become assimilated into a universal mass in the communication cauldron. —  Croatian Post Inc.

Snik Suid-Afrika!

Baie dankie vir die poskaarte! Thank you for the postcards!

I was so giddy at the sight waiting for me at the Post Office and I was giggling like a teenager. I am sorry, I couldn’t help it. Postcards, or any mails for that matter, really bring joy to my day. 
Take for example this postcard from my Keri. It is quite unexpected. She and I have been friends since 1998 although we haven’t seen each other yet. After our paths crossed through email, we became pen pals, exchanging letters, greeting cards and pictures for years. We lost contact in the mid-2000 when she was pursuing her undergraduate degree and I was busy with my career. Then, out of the blue, I found her by just following blog links one day. Isn’t it great?

Keri wrote: When I saw this postcard, I thought of you! How sweet of her.
Looking closely at the picture of the Table Mountain (upper middle photo), I can, sort of, see (or imagine) where she lives 🙂 She once told me that her apartment is on the left side of the mountain, just around the corner and that they are looking at the mountain short-side on. Being on the third floor of the building she has a fantastic view of the mountain from her bedroom window. Now that is priceless – waking up in the morning to see the Table Mountain standing majestically. 

The other views on the postcard are of, clockwise from top left, Namaqualand (it is up the west side of the country and despite its semi-desert environment, apparently  local and foreign tourists flock there during springtime for its amazing wild spring flowers), the lion, the beautiful sunset of Blyde Canyon, and the city of Cape Town. She herself has never been to Namaqualand and plans to go there in a place called Little Namaqualand where Richterslveld, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located.  They will camp there and go hiking with friends. I would love to go hiking there, too. It must be great to see this amazing landscape by way of trekking/hiking and interacting with the locals. Some people I know raise their eyebrows at me for being enthusiastic in activities such as this. Well, why not? Hiking does a lot of wonders to a person’s well being. What many of these people don’t know is that hiking can be used as alternative to walking or running on a treadmill. Hiking also helps reduce stress, burns fat thereby contributing to weight loss, and prevents heart ailments. I can say hiking is one of the best fat burners in my list! Oh dear me, but I digress now. I got carried away again. 

Moving on to the stamp…. It is a commemorative stamp marking the FIFA World Cup hosted by South Africa in June this year.

The stamp above is part of the first set (of the two sets) issued by SAPO, consisting of six self-adhesive round-shaped stamps. It features the official logo, the jabulani (the official match ball), and the 18-carat gold FIFA World Cup trophy. SA is probably the only country in the African region to issue its own World Cup stamps.

Dankie vir die pragtige poskaart, Keri. Die stempel is net so awesome, ook.

Many, many thanks for the lovely postcard, Keri. The stamp is equally awesome, too.

That’s what friends are for!

I received these last week but I am still in philatelist’s heaven!
Mailed straight from the Johannesburg’s Oliver R. Tambo International Airport Post Office were two stamped South African postcards and two envelopes containing (one) a map of Botswana and (two) assorted South African mint stamp sheets!

Baie dankie to my very good friend, Fe. It pays to have friends you can bribe — errrrr — scratch that! It pays to have friends, period. Sadly, she and her family have left Africa to be based somewhere in… China! Well, well, well… Chinese stamps are also amazing and there’s this one particular issue that I want to get for my collection… *wink-wink*

South Africa

Okay, I’m on a roll here 😀
This is a new country in my collection, the fourth postcard I received from Africa, and the first postcard from South Africa, too, so I had to post this right away!

This was sent by my friend Fe while she and her family were transiting in Johannesburg international airport on their way to Botswana. She was the same person who sent me the Wildlife Botswana postcard which I posted here some weeks ago.

When she was still here in Phnom Penh, I used to tell her about my desire to visit South Africa. In case you don’t know, South Africa is in my dream destinations list. I have heard so much of South Africa’s wonderful diversity – from the magnificent wildlife and scenic splendour, to the diverse culture of its people. There’s no harm in dreaming, right? It would also be a big push if I can finally locate my reward card lying somewhere amongst the clutter of my apartment so I could review and know whether I have enough points to redeem for a free ticket to any destination of my choice.

Back to the main story, I’d like to take your attention to the stamp used.

In 2008, the South African Postal Office issued a set of stamps featuring the Big 5 Wild African animals. The above stamp features the leopard, and the other members of the Big 5 include the lion, rhino, elephant, and buffalo. If you would notice, the illustration is cartoonish, which I like very much. The wild animals look playful and tame I want to have them as pets!
A booklet contains 10stamps with two of designs of each animals, denominated as Airmail Postcards. The stamps are designed by a South African artist, Dr. Jack and he also designed the FDCs and first day postmark. If any of you happens to travel to South Africa or are from South Africa, I would love to swap a booklet or an FDC with you for my (and my sister’s) collection. Please contact me through this blog, or email me at postmistress-at-postcardscrossing-dot-com. Thanks, I’m looking forward to hearing from all of you.