I already had a few items from India in my collection that are made in a few different languages. Amongst them a few postcards that are printed in both English and Tamil language (at least that's what I think).
When I saw on Delcampe a similar card with yet another kind of characters on it, I decided to let it come to The Neterlands. In the following correspondence the seller announced that he had more different versions, in total 11 different languages. It became even more interesting when he sent me scans of 13 different languages (obviously counting is not his best quality). So I ordered the whole bunch to do some thorough research. The seller, now awake, probably browsed again through his stock and the next day there were 4 sets on the auction site. For a reasonable price, thus I also bought them all.
In mean time I have received them all at home, and now Nico and I wanted to know which languages are used on the cards. Thus
we started the computer and surfed to WIKI.
It turns out that there are no less than 415 different modern languages in India! Off course India is "somewhat" larger than the Netherlands and has "some" more inhabitants, but so many different languages......... The official language is Hindi, but English, that has officially been struck out of the constitution in 1965, is still commonly used in all states and is therefore called "the extra official language". There are 24 provinces and regions that have their own official languages.
It is very difficult for us to
name all the languages used on the cards, but a few of the semi-official languages like Bengali, Sanskrit, Nepali, Punjabi, Tamil and Urdu are for sure amongst them.
The Meghdoot card, a kind of advertisement card named after the messenger Meghaduta, who was travelling to the clouds in an old Sanskrit poem, is issued by the Ministry of Consumer Interests. The girl mascotte Sayana Rani of the Ministry is not only used to point the Indian people the importance of wearing approved crash helmets, but also to spread various other warning messages.
The ISI (Indian Standard Institute) approval is comparable to our ECE approval or the American DOT approval. For us the motorized 2-wheeler is off course the most important, but also the slogan can be nicely used.
In the former newsletter Eric already mentioned the Helmet stamp from Uruguay. This stamp is also available on an FDC. But the price of the FDC is pretty high. This is not only because several stamps have a very high postage value (100 Uruguayan Peso (U$) equals € 4.10) but also because 3 stamp sheets had to be used to make 5 complete series.
The stamp with the crash helmet carrying the text "use your head"
The 1st sheet of 25 stamps
The 2nd sheet of 25 stamps
The 3rd sheet of 25 stamps
An FDC set (the 8 stamps divided over 2 envelops) is sold on the internet for € 55.00 or more, but fortunately First Day cancellations are also sold on envelops with single stamps only.
An FDC with the 4 different stamps
An FDC with the helmet stamp only
The issue is to support the Unidad NAcional de SEguridad Vial (UNASEV), an organization like Veilig Verkeer ("Safe Traffic", a Dutch non-profit organization). Of the blocks respectively 10.000 (block 1), 6000 (block 2) en 3000 (block 3) pieces are printed.
A small plus was the fact that the sheets could be bought at a discount. A special folder
sleeve with the 3 blocks worth 2675 U$ (Peso) postage value packed together costed 2060 U$.
Personalised Stamps are, apart from being worth collecting them, also nice because they mostly tell a small story. A picture of your children, your house or a holiday snapshot. Unfortunately most of these pictures don't tell you this story if you don't know their background. Therefor I personally only collect those Personalised Stamps of which I know the background for issuing them.
On the last club meeting Jan Haaksema came with a stamp that shows a painting. The painting is made by Jan's wife and shows his Beemer, and it is hanging on the door of his home shed. This gives a special meaning to the stamp, and then it gets a place in my book.
Our own editor also has a motorcycle aberration and he got the plan to put his collection of old bikes on stamps, which resulted in a series of 13:
You can find his complete collection on www.motorpaul.nl.
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