Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The best Singapore stamp issued

Although being a Singaporean, I am not really into collecting Singapore stamps, as I find the designs too conservative and lack of the “X-factor”.
However, the issue of the Peranakan Museum Collection in April 2008 changed my perspective. In my opinion, it was one of the best Singapore stamps so far.

In this issue, it featured the world’s first beaded stamp, which was a unique pouch-shaped Collector’s Sheet intricately pasted by hand with ‘caviar beads’. It was inspired by the exquisite beadwork which is a distinctive aspect of the Peranakan culture. Reputed for their creativity, the Peranakans used brilliantly-coloured miniscule glass beads to create intricate designs on anything from slippers to tobacco pouches.
In addition, there were another 8 colourful stamps of 4 denominations issued. They were 1st Local (26¢) x 2, 2nd Local (32¢) x 2, 65¢ x 2 and $1.10 x 2. Pictured on these stamps were decorative objects associated with celebrations and special occasions of the Peranakan community, such as the phoenix, crane and peony. Aren't they beautiful?
So who are the Peranakans?
Peranakans refer to the descendants of the interracial marriages between immigrant Chinese men and local Malay women which has its origins in the early 15th century. The Peranakan culture is a rich blend of the Chinese and Malay cultures with some influence from the Portuguese, Dutch, British, Thai, Indian and Indonesian cultures as well. What has evolved over time is a community of people who observe traditional Chinese festivals and traditions but show a strong Malay influence in their food, language and dressing.
Sad to say, the Peranakan culture is fast disappearing. Without colonial British support for their perceived racial neutrality, government policies following independence from the British have resulted in the assimilation of Peranakans back into mainstream Chinese culture. In Singapore, the Peranakans are classified as ethnically Chinese, so they receive formal instruction in Mandarin
Chinese as a second language instead of Malay.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I definitely agree with you, the beaded stamp is one of the beauties in my collection!



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