Saturday, January 22, 2011

China Postage Stamps 1930's - Mystery of Chinese Culture, History and Language !

Here are some regular stamps with Dr Sun Yat Sen then stamps from a special Sino-Swedish Expedition published to support the journey of a Swede named Hedin. From wiki "Between 1927 and 1935 Sven Hedin led an international Sino-Swedish Expedition which investigated the meteorological, topographic and prehistoric situation in Mongolia, the Gobi desert and Xinjiang.
Sven Hedin described it as a peripatetic university in which the participating scientists worked almost independently, while he—like a local manager—negotiated with the authorities, made decisions, organized whatever was necessary, raised funds and recorded the route followed. He gave archaeologists, astronomers, botanists, geographers, geologists, meteorologists and zoologists from Sweden, Germany and China an opportunity to participate in the expedition and carry out research in their areas of specialty.
Hedin met Chiang Kai-shek in Nanjing, who thereupon became a patron of the expedition. The Sino-Swedish Expedition was honored with a Chinese postage stamp series which had a print run of 25,000. The four stamps show camels at a camp with the expedition flag and bear the Chinese text, "Postal Service of the Prosperous Middle Kingdom" and in Latin underneath, "Scientific Expedition to the Northwestern Province of China 1927-1933". A painting in the Beijing Palace Museum entitled Nomads in the Desert served as model for the series. Of the 25,000 sets, 4,000 were sold across the counter and 21,500 came into the possession of the expedition. Sven Hedin used them to finance the expedition, selling them for a price of five dollars per stamp."

This is a cover sent by Sven Hedin to his sister Alma I found on the wiki site.

I always liked this set of four, and it is all in old Chinese characters, so I don't have a clue about it. Perhaps someone from the Chinese Stamp Society will help me out. Just found a link to a Chinese Stamp Society, and wrote the secretary an email. Interesting he is from Columbus OH where my parents met. Perhaps stamps might still be a vehicle for international understanding. I am not into collecting for money, rather for learning about people, values and history. So, we'll see what connections I might make!

Other stamps I think are interesting. Waiting for some history on these too. :-)

I think this commemorates something about the US Constitution and I really don't know. Always liked the cool big map of China!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Preparing for Asian Journey 2011 - Revisiting History through Chinese Postage Stamps of the 1920's

“The Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Lao-tze - Here is a sample from the 1920's of the postage stamps I collected, that allowed me to think about the ancient culture and people of China - Zhongguo = Middle Kingdom - Just like Minnesota being the center of "Turtle Island" As a boy, I was fascinated by the culture of China, and created a special collection. Now, as I envision a trip to Asia, discerning where to visit and for how long and with whom is a point of discernment. I went to my local AAA office and purchased books on travel in China and Japan, and plan to spend 3 weeks there, cultivating friendships on line and with Skype. Being a man of the 21st Century and looking for balance as a digestive health teacher and supporter of HIV preventive education for internationally, I look forward to seeing how safely I can travel. My experience, driving to the Soviet Union at age 24, and environmental activist will serve me well now. From:
"The definitives of the "Junk issue" went on sale 5 May 1913, and continued in use into the 1930s. The low values featured a junk, while values from 15c to 50c showed a farmer reaping rice, while the dollar values depicted the three-part gateway to the Hall of Classics in Beijing. The series was first printed in London, then in Beijing from 1915; they can be distinguished by close examination." Here is the first commemorative issue "25th anniversary of the Chinese Post Office featured then president Xu Shichang in the centre, flanked by Premier Jing Yongbeng and Minister of Communication Ye Gongzuo" Yellow Green Grey and blue.

The Beijing Hall of Classics, and a "junk" - Chinese 船 ("boat, ship"), (Mandarin pinyin: chuán) with overprint, with Commemerative issued 1923-10-17 a set showing the Temple of Heaven commemorated the new constitution.

These colorful commemoratives captured my full imagination as a teen. Looking back at the era of the 1920's and the leadership of China that set the foundation for the split in 1949. From Wiki "On 1928-03-01 a set depicting Marshal of the Army and Navy Zhang Zuolin marked his assumption of that role. On 1929-04-18 Chiang Kai-shek makes a first appearance, commemorating the unification of China. Finally on 1929-05-30, two days before the event, four stamps showing Sun Yat Sen's mausoleum were issued to commemorate his state funeral.[2]" Sun Yat Sen, then on the regular issues below, starting in 1931, captured my interest as he was a "doctor". Not sure how the Chinese of today look back at these men and I still find the stamps evocative!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

San Francisco Visit - December 2010 Visit - Rosen Center Berkeley

Cafe Du Soleil, 200 Fillmore Street, here off of Duboce where I walked from a Camera Shop in a mall on Market Street after getting a cable to download my photos. Here I had a warm tea and food in a sweet cyber cafe atmosphere. I local woman suggested this as this is where she goes. During the Wednesday break from the Rosen Method Intensive, I took BART under the bay into downtown San Francisco. I stopped by the World HQ of Landmark Education on California off the Embarcadero and noticed the cable car. On this rainy Wednesday, Dec 15, the ides of December, I decided to check out a meeting on Market Street, walking past a lot of street people, likely homeless stopping at an Information Center that is very multicultural, talking about ebooks, ipads and Kindles with a woman from the Netherlands. As an HIV educator in the GBTQ community it was important to stop by the San Francisco LGBT Community Center at 1800 Market Street. Had a nice meal nearby in a cyber cafe with a local man I met there. Sweet to be back in SF after so many years. Came here in the late 1970's and 80's.

Here is a typical home with a tree fern growing in the front yard in Berkeley as I walked from my motel on University and 8th, close to the Berkeley Rosen Center, to the N Berkeley BART Station. Temps 50- 70 degrees everyday. All the plants thrive here!

Typical progressive bumper sticker on a car in Berkeley on my walk to the BART Sunday Morning Dec 19th, after the Rosen Intensive ended on Saturday.

On Sunday, I returned to the Embarcadero, and this time took the California St cable car to Grace Cathedral pictured here. I lot of artists in the park and just beautiful people watching and chatting a bit.

Locals recommended a concert at 3 PM and the Fairmont Hotel decorated for the season. Beautiful!

Here is the Choir part of Grace Cathedral where a chamber group with harp, accompanied a traditional Men's and Boy's Choir in the Anglican - Episcopal tradition. I introduced myself to the new female Dean of the Cathedral, who was educated in Oxford, as from the First Cathedral in Faribault MN. She didn't seem familiar with our Prairie Lakes area of Central MN :-) lol

I walked from the Cathedral down to Market and found the City Office Building here lite up with Green and Red for the season. Noticed several gay couples having there photo taken here. This is the place where Harvey Milk was assassination November 27, 1978 along with Mayor Masconi.

Known for a large number of gays in SF, this is a place to buy cheap clothes and also doubles as a place to get tested for HIV. This is on Duboce where there are a lot of street cars and near the wifi cafe I returned to prior to a walk to a 12 step meeting on Castro Street Sunday evening prior to my BART trip back to Berkeley. Great walking city and fun to be back!