Monday, March 29, 2010

#156 Malaysia...Thanks Nurul!

The 50sen stamp is from 2008 Royal Hats issue showing a royal head-dress.

For centuries Malay Rulers have worn head-dresses as part of their regalia. They have been wearing head-dresses made of embroidered silk folded in different styles since the days of the Malay Sultanate. The style of folding is called solek. The colour of the head-dress varies from one state to another. The royal head-dress worn by His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong during his installation is made of black fabric embroidered with gold thread. It is folded in the style called Dendam Tak Sudah which originated from Negeri Sembilan. Pinned at the front of the head-dress is a crescent and a star. In the centre of the star is the colorful crest of the Government of Malaysia.

The 30sen stamp is from Malaysian Dances set issued in 2005. It depicts Bharata Natyam and Kathak.

Bharata Natyam is one of the 8 forms of Indian classical dance form originating in Tamil. One of the oldest of the classical dance forms in India, it is also known as the fifth Veda. Bharatanatyam is usually accompanied by the classical music. It has its inspirations from the sculptures of the ancient temple of Chidambaram. Bharatanatyam, as the name depicts is the combination of:
BHA- Bhava (Expression), RA- Raga (Music) and TA- Tala (Rhythm) Bharatanatyam is a traditional dance-form known for its grace, purity, tenderness, and sculpturesque poses. Today, it is one of the most popular and widely performed dance styles and is practiced by many dancers all over the world.

Kathak is also one of the 8 forms of Indian classical dances, originated from northern India. This dance form traces its origins to the nomadic bards of ancient northern India, known as Kathaks, or storytellers. These bards, performing in village squares and temple courtyards, mostly specialized in recounting mythological and moral tales from the scriptures, and embellished their recitals with hand gestures and facial expressions. It was quintessential theatre, using instrumental and vocal music along with stylized gestures, to enliven the stories. Its form today contains traces of temple and ritual dances, and the influence of the bhakti movement. From the 16th century onwards it absorbed certain features of Persian dance and Central Asian dance which were imported by the royal courts of the Mughal era.

The 20c stamp is from 1995 Fungi issue depicting Bracket Fungus (Microporus xanthopus),which are mainly found on trees, and resemble mushrooms. Some form annual fruiting bodies while others are perennial and grow larger year after year. Bracket fungi are typically tough and sturdy and produce their spores, called basidiospores, within the pores that typically make up the undersurface.

The term classically was reserved for polypores, however molecular studies have revealed some odd relationships. The beefsteak fungus, a well known bracket fungus, is actually a member of the agarics. Other examples of bracket fungi include the sulphur shelf, birch bracket, dryad's saddle, artist's conk, and turkey tail. Some species of bracket fungi are cultivated for human consumption or medicinal use. The name Polypores is often used for a group that includes many of the hard or leathery fungi, which often lack a stem, growing straight out of wood.

Their hardness means they are very resilient and can live for quite a long time, with many species even developing beautiful multi-coloured circles of colour that are actually annual growth rings.

The group includes many different shapes and forms that are common in the tropical forests, including the hard 'cup fungi' and the 'shell', 'plate' and 'bracket' fungus commonly found growing off logs and still standing dead trees.

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