суббота, 28 ноября 2009 г.

Card from Hong Kong

Hong Kong is frequently described as a place where "East meets West", reflecting the culture's mix of the territory's Chinese roots with the culture brought to it during its time as a British colony. One of the more noticeable contradictions is Hong Kong's balancing of a modernised way of life with traditional Chinese practices. Concepts like feng shui are taken very seriously, with expensive construction projects often hiring expert consultants, and are often believed to make or break a business. Other objects like Ba gua mirrors are still regularly used to deflect evil spirits, and buildings often lack any floor number that has a 4 in it, due to its similarity to the word for "die" in the Chinese language. The fusion of east and west also characterises Hong Kong's cuisine, where dim sum, hot pot and fast food restaurants coexist with haute cuisine.

Hong Kong is a recognised global centre of trade, and calls itself an 'entertainment hub'. Its martial arts film genre gained a high level of popularity in the late 1960s and 1970s. Several Hollywood performers and martial artists have originated from Hong Kong cinema, notably Bruce Lee, Chow Yun-Fat, Jackie Chan, and Yuen Woo-ping. A number of Hong Kong film-makers have also achieved widespread fame in Hollywood, such as John Woo, Wong Kar-wai and Stephen Chow.[110] Homegrown films such as Chungking Express, Infernal Affairs, Shaolin Soccer, Rumble in the Bronx, and In the Mood for Love have gained international recognition. Hong Kong is the centre for Cantopop music, which draws its influence from other forms of Chinese music and Western genres, and has a multinational fanbase.

The Hong Kong government supports cultural institutions such as the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, the Hong Kong Museum of Art, the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Also, the government's Leisure and Cultural Services Department subsidises and sponsors international performers brought to Hong Kong. Many international cultural activities are organised by the government, consulates, and privately.

Hong Kong has two licensed terrestrial broadcasters – ATV and TVB. There are three local and a number of foreign suppliers of cable and satellite services. The production of Hong Kong's soap dramas, comedy series and variety shows reach audiences throughout the Chinese-speaking world. Magazine and newspaper publishers in Hong Kong distribute and print in both Chinese and English, with a focus on sensationalism and celebrity gossip. The media is relatively free from official interference compared to mainland China, although the Far Eastern Economic Review points to signs of self-censorship by journals whose owners have close ties to or business interests in the PRC, but state that even Western media outlets are not immune to growing Chinese economic power.

Hong Kong offers wide recreational and competitive sport opportunities despite its limited land area. Internationally, Hong Kong sends delegates to international competition, namely the Olympic Games, and Asian Games, and played host to the equestrian events during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. There are major multipurpose venues like Hong Kong Coliseum and MacPherson Stadium. Hong Kong's steep terrain makes it ideal for hiking, with expansive views over the territory, and its rugged coastline provides many beaches for swimming.

Hong Kong

New stamp

The 50th anniversary of the Strategic Rocket forces

четверг, 26 ноября 2009 г.

Stamps schedule 2010 (Russia)

1. The 100th anniversary of birth of Valentina Grizodubova (1910-1993), woman pilot, Hero of the Soviet Union January, 14
The 100th anniversary of birth of Anatoly Serov (1910-1939), test pilot
January, 19
The 150th anniversary of birth of Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), writer
January, 29
Monuments of science and technology. Clock. Continuation of series XXI winter Olympic games
February, 5

XXI winter Olympic games
February, 11
The 275th anniversary of birth of Feodor Rockotov (1735-1808), painter
February, 19
Culture of Russian peoples. National clothes (headdresses) of Tatarstan Republic. Continuation of series.
March, 10
Russia. Regions. Continuation of series. Bryansk Region, Kursk Region, Novgorod Region, Orenburg Region, Tambov Region, Republic of Tyva
March, 17
9. The 500th anniversary of birth of Ivan Feodorov (1510-1583), book-printer March, 25

Cities of military glory. Continuation of series. Elets, Elnya, Luga, Malgobek, Voronezh
April, 15

Weapon of the Victory. Continuation of series. (Tanks)
April, 20
The 65th anniversary of Victory in the Great Partiotic War
April, 26
Issue by “Europa” programme. Children books
May, 5
The 300th anniversary of Cyrillic alphabet – first civil alphabet
May, 14

The 1000th anniversary of Yaroslavl city May, 21

16. The 275th anniversary of birth of Dmitry Levitsky (1735-1822), painter
June, 7

17. The 300th anniversary of foundation of Tsarskoe Selo June, 18
18. Joint issue Russian Federation – Serbian Republic. Art June, 25
19. World natural heritage in Russia. Continuation of series. Curonian Spit July, 7

20. Architectural constructions. Bridges. Continuation of series. July, 20

21. World cultural heritage in Russia. Continuation of series. Ensemble of the Ferapontov Monastery August, 2

22. History of Russian Cossacks. Continuation of series August, 15

23. The 150th anniversary of birth of Isaak Levitan (1860-1900), painter August, 27

24. The 65th anniversary of the end of the Second World War September, 2

25. The 75th anniversary of birth of German Titov (1935-2000), cosmonaut September, 10

26. Year of the Teacher October, 5
27. All-Russian population census-2010 October, 11

28. Joint issue Russian Federation – Kazakhstan Republic. Investigators (Chockan Valikhanov) October, 20

29. The 300th anniversary of birth of Nikolay Pirogov (1810-1881), surgeon November, 25

30. Happy New Year and merry Christmas! December, 1

четверг, 19 ноября 2009 г.

New stamp

New stamp "50th anniversary of Antarctic Treaty" will be issused at November, 30 2009.

New stamp

On November, 25th, 2009, the stamp “The 200th anniversary of the Higher Theatre School named after Mikhail Schepkin” is issued.

FDC from Latvia

Евгений, благодарю Вас за этот красивый конверт!

воскресенье, 8 ноября 2009 г.

First defense of Sevastopol

New stamp “200th anniversary of birth of V. I. Istomin, the hero of Sevastopol defense 1854—1855” issused in Russia at October, 14th 2009.

Here is the text was written specially for this event by my friend and collector Dmitriy Maleev from Angarsk (Irkutskaya oblast).
Dmitriy and me will be very glad if you’ll comment this post and will also answer the question: are texts like this interesting for you?

First defense of Sevastopol

It will be the story about fellow-soldiers, Russian naval commanders, heroes of Navarin, Sinop and Sevastopol defense, whose friendship started in Kronshtadt and followed for life.

Nakhimov Pavel Stepanovich was born at June, 23rd (July, 5th by Gregorian calendar) 1802 in Gorodok village of Smolensk region of Russia.
Kornilov Vladimir Alekseevich was born at February, 1st (13th by Gregorian calendar) 1806 in Irkutsk.
Istomin Vladimir Ivanovich was born in 1809 in Lomovka village of Penza region of Russia.
At different years they all studied in Naval military school of Peterburg. They had got baptism of fire In Narva battle fighting abroad the “Azov” battleship at October 8th (20th) 1827. United squadron of Russian, Britain and French ships won this battle against Turkish-Egyptian fleet. ”Azov” had fired 5 ships and became the first Ship of Guard at Russian fleet.

I. K. Ayvazovskiy. “Navarin battle”

Nakhimov even before Navarin completed his round-the-world voyage on “Kreiser” frigate at 1822—1825. In 1832 he became a master of “Pallada” ship (let’s think of Goncharov’s novell). In 1836 he was a master of “Silietria” battleship on Black Sea fleet. In 1852 he became a vice-admiral. His ship was the 120th-cannon battleship “Maria Empress”.

Nakhimov Pavel Stepanovich

In 1838 Kornilov became a hief of staff of Black Sea squadron and a first master of 120th-cannon battleship “Twelve apostles” (this ship was painted by Ayvazovskiy: In 1846 he was assigned to Britain for controlling of steambots building ordered there. In 1852 he became a vice-admiral b in fact was commander of Black Sea fleet. He tried to change sailboats to steambots and rearm the ships. In 1853 he took part in thirst steamboats fighting. He mastered 10th-cannon steamboat “Vladimir” joined battle with 10th-cannon Turkish-Egyptian steamboat “Pervaz-Bakhri”. After three hours of fighting “Pervaz-Bakhri” had gave up.

Kornilov Vladimir Alekseevich

Istomin mastered several ships on Chyornoe (Black) sea. Participated in Caucasian war in 1847. In 1850 then he was in a rank of captain a mission of heading of newest 120th-cannon battleship “Paris” was assigned to him.

Istomin Vladimir Ivanovich

This ship represented on Victoria’s envelope and it was 3rd ship named identical. The 1st ship built in 1814 was named in honor of capture of Paris by Russian army. Prow of that ship’s ram was enriched by the figure of two-headed eagle with emblem of Paris in claws.
The last “Paris” was 4,790-ton ship. It was 64.6 meters overall length, 18.1 meters overall width and carried 1000 team members. The last “Paris” was armed impressively: 28 of 68-lb bombing cannons, 38 of 36-lb cannons, 24 of 24-lb cannons and 34 of 36-lb carronades.

The 150th anniversary of the Battle of Sinop

In 1853 Crimean (or Eastern, as it named in other countries) war had began.
At November, 18th (30th) 1853, at the beginning of the war, Russian squadron commanded by vice-admiral Nakhimov disclosed and destroyed Turkish fleet in Sinop bay. Turkish lost 7 frigates, 3 corvettes, 1 steamboat, 4 cargo ships and 5 maritime batteries. 3000 Turkish team members of 4500 overall was killed. Many of Turkeys was captured including Osman-pasha admiral, the commander of Turkish squadron. None of Nakhimov’s squadron ships was lost, 37 team members was killed and 299 injured. Only ship was not destroyed in that battle was “Taif”. The chief adviser of Osman-pasha Adolph Slade was abroad on that ship. Using better velocity properties “Taif” was able to run away from Russian ships and to brought a message about full extermination of Turkish squadron to Istanbul.

I. K. Ayvazovskiy. “Sinop. Night after the battle November 18th 1853”

“Paris” ship mastered by Nakhimov leaded the second column of Russian ships. This ship came in the road and destroyed 5th maritime battery, “Ghuly-Sephid” corvette, fired “Damiad” and “Nizamie” frigates causing this ships cast ashore. As Nakhimove wrote in his report, Istomin “showed exemplary fearlessness and presence of mind, wisdom, clever and fast orders during the battle”. After this battle Istomin was promoted to the rank of rear admiral.
During shots to the maritime batteries bombs from Russian ships caused fires in town. After destroying of Turkish squadron Russian sailors landed and began firefighting and saving of citizens.
Sinop battle was the last battle of sail fleets. This battle and deaths of citizens as well was the one of the reasons of Britain and France joined to the war at the side of Turkey. In June—July 1854 outnumbered British-French-Turkey fleet (34 battleships and 55 frigates, mostly steam-driven) blocked Russian fleet in Sevastopol. Landing of united forces and followed 349-days heroic defense of Sevastopol came went to history of Russian fleet as especially bright both heroic and tragic events.
All the Black Sea fleet went down to the seabed of Sevastopol bay. Thereby the way to town was barricaded for enemy ships. Teams landed and fortified cost line by the cannons of ships sent to seabed. One of the batteries was named “Parizhskaya” (“Parisian”) and the ship “Paris” stayed in the road with 214 gunners.
Kornilov was one of coordinators of Sevastopol defense; his war commander talent was shown especially bright during this defense. He gave the lead of smart arrangement of active defense. He died like a hero on Malakhov barrow at October 5th (17th) 1854.
Istomin was assigned to command of Northern fortification and later then this position was held by Kornilov stayed there as chief of staff. After Kornilov’s death he never leaves the position and was killed by direct shot of cannonball to the head at the Mach 7th (19th) 1855.
Since February 1855 Nakhimov was the commander of Sevastopol seaport and military governor of town. At March he was promoted to admiral. At June 28th (July 10th) 1855 during going around the front line fortifications at the Kornilov’s bastion of Malakhov barrow he was fatally injured in the head by the bullet. He died at June 30th 1855.

Kornilov and Nakhimov monuments in Sevastopol

At August 28th (September 9th) garrison left the town preliminary blew up all the batteries and storages. “Paris” battleship was sank and took his place near other ships went down before. Now a monument devoted to sank ships can be found there.

Monument devoted to sank ships in Sevastopol

Long times after that war as stated in peace treaty Russia has no warships on Black Sea. Only at the beginning of XIX century revival of fleet begun.

Christmas and New Year's Day coming soon!

For putting you in a good mood I wish to show you a little stamp's collage.
Here represented new issues from several countries dedicated to Cristmas and New Year's day.

суббота, 7 ноября 2009 г.

Postcard from Tula. Russia

Tula is an industrial city in the European part of Russia, located 193 km south of Moscow, on the river Upa.

A musical instrument, the Tula accordion, is named for the city, which is a center of manufacture for such instruments sold throughout Russia and the world. Tula is also renowned for traditional Russian pryaniki, cookies made with honey and gingerbread. In the West, Tula is perhaps best-known as the center of samovar production: the Russian equivalent of "coals to Newcastle" is "You don't take a samovar to Tula".

The most popular tourist attraction in Tula Oblast is Yasnaya Polyana, the home and burial place of the writer Leo Tolstoy. It is situated fourteen kilometers south-west of the city. It was here that Tolstoy wrote his celebrated novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina.

The museum " the Tula samovars " , branch of Museum Association " Tula regional historical-architectural and literary museum " was open in 1990 on Mendeleevskaia street, 8 in the house that was built in 1910 – 1911 per design of architect V.N.Sirotkin. The basis of an exposition of a museum was made with the collection of samovars collected in various years in association "TOIALM". The exposition of a museum which consists of three halls, acquaints visitors with history of begining and development of one of the most known Tula crafts – Samovar making. The first hall tells about Samovar manufacturing in Tula in XVIII - XIX centuries. Among unique samples of the end of XVIII century - "sbitennik" which was the predecessor of a samovar, a pot for preparation of sbiten - a drink made from different types of grass, spices, honey. Sbitennik was made by first Tula samovar workshop of Lisitsyns. Samovars of first half of the XIX century presented by samples of Somovs factory, Malikovs facotry, etc. At those times samovars mostly were made in the form of a keg, a decorative vase, a crater. There were the coffee pots samovars, portable samovars for travel; “zharovoi” with kerosene furnace; samovars "Parichko" with a removable jug. Since second half of the XIX century Tula becomes the largest supplier of samovars. The Tula samovars have penetrated into all corners of Russia and outside of Russia as well. Tula samovars were presented at every All-Russia and international exhibition. In an exposition of a museum there are the medals received by N.Batashevyms at the World's fairs in Paris (1889), Chicago (1893), London (1909), at the All-Russia exhibitions in Moscow (1882), Nizhni Novgorod (1896). The second hall is presented by samovars manufactured in Tula in second half XIX – beginning of XX century. It exhibits the products of “The Association of Steam samovars factories of successors of V.S.Batashev in Tula " - one of the largest and famous Tula’s factories of XX century. Exposition contains memorial items of members of the Batashev family: portrait of A.S.Batashev - one of brothers of the Batashev family. Among the most unique products of factory are 5 tiny samovars presented in 1909 from Batashevs to the children of Russian Emperor Nikolay II. Samovars of the Soviet period between 1920 and 1940 presented by interesting samples: a vase " the Turkish hookah ", a samovar-vase gift to S.I.Sepanov, director of the Tula ammuntion factory in 1930th; also samovar presented as a gift to Stalin in 1949 for his 70th year anniversary. The exposition of the third hall acquaints visitors with products of a machine-building factory "Stamp" carrying name of B.L.Vannikov, the only factory in Tula making samovars now days. There are samples of “zharovoi” samovar(with wood or coal furnace), electric combined samovar, and also samovars with the art painting and decorations manufactured in different year.

Tula, Russia

среда, 4 ноября 2009 г.


Skriduklaustur - a cultural and educational center, donated by the Icelandic author Gunnar Gannarson.

The culture of Iceland is rich and varied as well as being known for its literary heritage which stems from authors from the 12th to 14th centuries. Other Icelandic traditional arts include weaving, silver crafting, and wood carving. The Reykjavík area has several professional theatres, a symphony orchestra, an opera, and a large amount of art galleries, bookstores, cinemas, and museums. There are also four active folk dance ensemble in Iceland. Iceland's literacy rate is among the highest in the world, and a love of literature, art, chess, and other intellectual pursuits is widespread.

Gunnar Gunnarsson (May 18, 1889 - November 21, 1975) was an Icelandic author who wrote mainly in Danish. He grew up, in considerable poverty, on Valþjófsstaður in Fljótsdalur valley and on Ljótsstaðir in Vopnafjörður. Despite huge difficulties, he managed to become one of the most widely read novelists in both Denmark and Germany.

Often considered one of the most important Icelandic writers, he wrote the novel Af Borgslægtens Historie (translated into English as Guest the One-Eyed), the first Icelandic work that was ever made into a movie. He also wrote the autobiographical novel "The Church on the Mountain" in 1923-1928.
Gunnar Gunnarsson
Icelandic literature