Saturday, October 10, 2009

My first cover from Cambodia!

Yesterday, I welcomed a new country to my collection, no.82, Cambodia! Courtesy of Myron. Much appreciation for your thoughts. Hope you enjoyed your Cambodia trip! The 2 se-tenant stamps franked on the left of the cover are from the beautiful "Elephants" series, issue in 2006.Asian elephants are in trouble today more than ever before. They've been hunted for the past 150 years for their tusks, which supply the profitable but destructive ivory trade. As if that weren't enough, they are now losing their land to the increasing human population throughout Asia. Across much of the elephants' range, their forest and grassland habitat is being transformed into farmland and villages. Adding to the problem is the increasing commercial demand for forest-derived products such as coffee, tea, rubber, and hardwoods.
Only about 35,000 to 40,000 Asian elephants survive today in fragmented populations - a small fraction of the numbers that used to range throughout most of Asia. The species faces a real risk of becoming extinct in the wild!

The bottom left stamp belongs to the "Khmer Culture" series, issued in 2004. It features a Banteay Srei Sculpture.
Banteay Srei is a 10th century Cambodian temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. It is situated about fifty kilometers from the Angkor Wat Temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia.The 2 identical stamps franked in the middle were issued to commemorate the Coronation of king Sihamoni on 29th October 2004. Sihamoni was named by a nine-member throne council to become the next king after his father Norodom Sihanouk abdicated in 2004. Before ascending the throne, Sihamoni was best known for his work as a cultural ambassador in Europe and as a classical dance instructor. Next is a stamp from the "Khmer Aspect" series, issued in 2008. The Khmer people are the predominant ethnic group in Cambodia, accounting for approximately 90% of the 14.8 million people in the country. They speak the Khmer language, which is part of the larger Mon-Khmer language family found throughout Southeast Asia. The majority of the Khmer are followers of the Khmer style of Buddhism, a highly syncretic version which blends elements of Theravada Buddhism, Hinduism, animism and ancestor-spirit worship.
The stamp franked on the extreme right was issued in 2004 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Cambodian Red Cross.
Myron also enclosed a gorgeous postcard of Angkor Wat. The temples of Angkor, built by the Khmer civilization between 802 and 1220 AD, represent one of humankind's most astonishing and enduring architectural achievements. From Angkor the Khmer kings ruled over a vast domain that reached from Vietnam to China to the Bay of Bengal. The temple is the epitome of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country's prime attraction for visitors.That's all for today. Have a great weekend!

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