Goddammit postal people, I know we are a third world dump that is notoriously slow on the uptake but please sort this shit out before I blow a blood vessel.
I’ve had this stamp for awhile but recently picked up the FDC at an auction. It’s a bit grimy but I got it for next to nothing so I won’t complain.
What I find interesting about the stamp however, is the way somebody carefully designed the partial arms holding up the flag to ensure each ethnic group was represented. Cute huh?
This got me looking around on the subject of Sri Lanka Independence Day stamps and apparently there are quite a few. Of course, the successful ousting of the white man is a REALLY BIG DEAL in these parts, so it’s only to be expected I suppose.
Today marks six months since the fall of our last moustachioed tyrant and I couldn’t help wondering, just how many of his glorious achievements were celebrated via postage stamp?
2010 saw the issue of a stamp featuring the Magam Ruhunupura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port or quite simply, the Hambanthota port. Featuring a small portrait of the man himself, it is a typical “look at me, look what I built” piece of philately.
Look I think its great that the Universal Postal Union (UPU) got a brand new building way back in 1970 and that Sri Lanka felt the need to issue a completely unimaginative stamp to commemorate this glorious event but why on earth did they mark the face value in the red stamp using fractions?
Old buildings just get me. I don’t care if they are dusty or creaky or ugly or old – I love them with a passion. There is also a penchant to stand in them with my eyes squeezed shut trying to recall my past lives. There should be at least one in which I was the Dowager Countess of Grantham, I swear.
I should point out though, that I would not actually want to live in one of these great hulking beasts today unless I had an army of maids and butlers. As a personal preference, I like to inhabit solidly air-conditioned (fuck the goddamn tropics), minimalist spaces with little to no furniture (when can we have self cleaning apartments again?) but this isn’t about my hangups, this was supposed to be about stamps. Specifically, these beauties.
I’ve been putting off posting this for months because it is so uninspiring. Basically, 20 March 2015 saw Sri Lanka issue yet another dull stamp commemorating the 150th anniversary of, what is at least a useful local institution – the National Hospital. This would have been so much nicer if they left off the people, because the building sketch on the right is actually quite interesting. If you collect medical or architecture related themes, you may want to add this to your collection.
Having ranted at length about the lack of Sri Lankan monarchs on stamps, I have been forced to mince a few words with the discovery of a 1956 stamp featuring Vijaya’s arrival in Sri Lanka. However, my point was that we do not have any stamps with a Sri Lankan king as the primary subject, in a dignified, portrait like format. Just to prove my seriousness and dedication to this cause, I have pored over my ENTIRE Sri Lankan collection AGAIN (with a magnifying glass this time). Here’s what I found regarding kings on stamps.
This stamp of Vijaya and Kuveni was issued to celebrate 2500 years of Buddhism. What the fuck does Buddhism have to do with Vijaya’s landing in Thambapanni? Surely we are not saying that Vijaya brought us Buddhism? This stamp was issued post independence, else I would have imagined that a clueless white colonial dude designed it.
Today is the Sinhala and Tamil New Year or “Avurudhu” as celebrated by the Sinhalese and “Puthandu” as celebrated by Tamils throughout Sri Lanka. You probably didn’t know that and care much less, but in my 65,610 km² of the world, it is a rather big deal and considered to be a time for family, tradition and food. Except for the food, I find the whole rigmarole extremely tedious and am only comforted at the thought of a possible new stamp issue. This year again however, there seems to be no new year themed stamp forthcoming.
If the Chinese New Year can instigate its own global philatelic revolution, you have to wonder why the Sri Lankan one can’t? Admittedly, we are neither a ginormous country nor do we have a cool animal zodiac forming part of the overall schtick, but our patronising traditions (no, I will NOT kneel to worship my elders thank you very much) and eyerollworthy games (telling me to wolf down a sugar bun in the fastest possible time is just WAY too triggering) should be interesting enough to the rest of the world. Don’t you think?
Anyway, I thought I’d take a gander down our proud nation’s philatelic history to see what we’ve managed to produce on the Avurudhu theme so far:
Before you get your hopes up, there aren’t any. Yet. Hopefully this impassioned plea will fall upon the ears of the Philatelic Bureau and they will soon see the light.
I love food. Having lived in Sri Lanka my whole life, I have a special fondness for Sri Lankan cuisine. The spicier the better. Admittedly, I rarely cook to recipe and am often seen trying to put my favourite local ingredients like green chillie and coconut into EVERY POSSIBLE DISH and completely buggering it so no one except me can eat it but hey, its the thought that counts right? You should be grateful that I offered you any food in the first place.
Any stamp issue about Sri Lankan gastronomy should in my opinion feature the three signature dishes below. You might notice that they all include coconut. I make no apologies for that.
How do I love thee dear World Environment Day stamp of 1982 – let me count the ways: