Friday, July 22, 2011

Stamp Exhibition on Dr Sun Yat Sen @ SPM

We went to the Singapore Philatelic Museum for the Stamp Exhibition on Dr Sun Yat Sen. It was a rare treat to see some of the uncommon stamps linked with Dr Sun Yat Sen. The visit was highly educational. For example, I didn't know that Dr Sun Yat Sen 孙中山's "中山" came from his Japanese name 中山樵, which he used when he was hiding in Japan. His actual name is 孙文. Another piece of philately tidbit was that Dr Sun Yat Sen was personally involved in the design of one of the early China stamps because he felt that these stamps were important to the modern day China.

Of course, the philately material provided much information about Dr Sun Yat Sen's life. It was also interesting to know that Dr Sun's Three Principles of the People (三民主义) had been depicted on a US stamp, together with Dr Sun and US President Lincoln's portraits. It seemed that the political ideas of both great men had often been compared for their similarities. While I do have stamps with Dr Sun's portrait (many Taiwan stamps have his picture), I think I might want to keep an eye to look out for that particular US stamp with both Dr Sun and President Lincoln.

The exhibition also contained materials about Dr Sun Yat Sen's relationship with the early Singapore Chinese, and the establishment of 晚晴园. Looking at the pictures of Dr Sun Yat Sen with some of the early Singapore Chinese (including famous folks like Teo Eng Hock, Tan Chor Nam and Lim Nee Soon), I would say that Singapore's relationship with China started really early. 

For those who are interested to visit the Singapore Philatelic Museum, you can find out more accessibility details at their website.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Taipei Postbox

When I travel to other cities, I tend to collect little tidbits of information about their postal related matters. I guess it is a habit for many stamp collectors. Thus earlier I posted about the 'Nostalgic Looking Postbox in China' when I visited ShangHai.

Here's another postbox and this postbox is in Taipei. They have two different colours for postboxes - one for domestic mail and another for international mail. The Green Postbox is for Taiwan mails, and there is further differentiation - Taipei / Shilin area vs rest of Taiwan. Similarly for the Red postbox meant for international mail - Airmail vs Prompt Delivery. No I don't really understand what is meant by Prompt Delivery. The Chinese words at the prompt delivery is "限时邮件", so if there is any Taiwanese reading this post, I'll greatly appreciate your enlightenment on this category of mail.

Singapore's postboxes are more 'colourful' compared to those in Taiwan or China. Well, to prove my point, here's a picture from the Kovan Postbox, near the Kovan MRT. But regardless of the design of the postboxes, what is more important is that any mail that dropped into the postboxes get delivered on time to the recipients, isn't it?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Spices of Singapore & Food Festival 2011

In conjunction with the Singapore Food Festival 2011, SingPost has timed its latest stamp issue - "Spices of Singapore" to be released on 15 July 2011. Of course, the theme is spices, a once upon valuable commodity (still valuable today) that is essential for food flavouring.

Singapore has its history tied closely with spices, when the spice commodities were traded in Singapore's early days as a entre port in the Straits Settlements. We celebrated our historical ties with spices by setting up a special spice garden at the Fort Canning Park, at the location of Raffles' experimental and botanical garden.

For the Spices of Singapore stamp issue, five different spices (and one food / drink containing each spice) are featured:

- Cinnamon (1st Local) used in Masala Teh (spiced tea with milk)
- Coriander (2nd Local) used in Satay
- Star Anise ($0.65) used in Braised Duck
- Tamarind ($0.80) used in Assam Prawn
- Tumeric ($1.10) used in Fish Head Curry

The Spices of Singapore stamps presentation pack is sold at $4.95, while the pre-cancelled First Day Cover is sold at $3.95. Those interested can get these stamps at any SingPost outlets as well as the Singapore Philatelic Museum.

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