My 400th Postcard

Coat of Arms of Russia

Coat of Arms of Russia

This beautiful postcard was the 400th postcard in my collection and comes from Lyudmila from Russia. Although I am on a strong trajectory to 600 postcards, this one was number 400 and I simply cannot keep my blog up to date entirely, so I am 167 postcards behind. Oops! The Russian Coat of Arms is really very beautiful! It was officially adopted on 30 November 1993 but dates back much further than that. It dates back to the reign of Ivan III between 1462 and 1505, although the shape of the eagle can be traced back to the reign of Peter the Great between 1682 and 1725. Today, however, the eagle is golden, whereas it was previously imperial black. All and all, I think it’s a great postcard and I am glad that number 400 was this beautiful. Thanks to all of you who have contributed to my collection over the past year. Happy New Year and may 2014 be a great year in all of your lives!

Hindustan

India

India

Raj from India sent me this great map postcard of his country. India is the 7th largest country in the world and is located in South Asia. With a population of 1.2 billion, it has the second largest population of any country, after China. That means that this lone country has more people than my entire continent of Africa. With a land size of 3 287 590 square kilometers, it is about 2.7 times the size of my native South Africa with a population equal to about 24 times that. WOW, that’s a lot of people. That is also to say that about 1 in every 6 people in the world are from India. The name of the country, like the Hindu faith, is derived from the Indus river, located in the country. With the 3rd largest GDP (PPP) in the world, India has come a long way over the years, ending behind the USA and China. India is also a model country for the outsourcing of non-essential business services, particularly in the ICT sector. It is certainly a rising giant on the world stage and I’d love to see where India ends up, once it’s a developed nation. Thank you Raj!

A Piece of History

Berlin Wall, Germany

Berlin Wall, Germany

This great postcard (despite the less-than-flattering scan) comes from a good friend in Germany, Kim, who lives in Frankfurt. The reason that the postcard did not scan so wonderful is because it contains a little piece of history as can be seen in the top right corner, i.e. A tiny piece of the Berlin Wall. The wall was constructed on 13 August 1961 by the government of East Germany to “protect” its citizens from those “evil Western fascists.” It’s name given to it by the East Germans was the “Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart.” What it really was all about, was a crap government trying to contain its people and restrict their movement. Until its construction in 1961, over 3.5 million people escaped the grips of the East German government and moved to West Germany. During the 28 years that it was there, a further 5000 people risked life and limb to escape East Germany. In 1989 the Wall finally fell on the 9th of October and by 3 October 1990 Germany was finally reunified. The fall of the Berlin wall was a major event, which played its part in the end of the Cold War. To many people it also signaled the end of the industrial age and the start of the information age. A brilliant part of the history of the world and one of my favourite parts of world history and here I have a piece of it. Thank you so very much Kim, this postcard really means a lot to me!

Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham City Hall, Alabama, USA

Birmingham City Hall, Alabama, USA

This postcard comes from Danielle. It shows the City Hall of Birmingham in Alabama, USA. No points for guessing where the city’s name comes from. But here’s a clue, for the clueless, the settlers who founded the city in 1871 were of English descent. Not only is it the largest city in Alabama but it is also the seat of Jefferson County, a county that even I have heard of. Spanning only 393 square kilometers and having a population of over 212 000, it has a relatively high population density. The economy of the city is still largely founded on steel production and like England’s Birmingham, it too is a major manufacturing hub. Thank you for a great postcard Danielle!

Happy Birthday Kiuruvesi

Kiuruvesi, Finland

Kiuruvesi, Finland

This postcard comes from Tuula from Finland. It shows the pretty town of Kiuruvesi in Central Finland. It is, again, one of those postcards that I love very much, i.e. a postcard that celebrates a specific event. At the top right, you will see “140” and yes, you guessed it, the town was founded in 1873 and turned 140 in 2013. Spanning 1,422.90 square kilometers and having a population of just under 9000, Kiuruvesi is certainly very sparsely populated, with only 6.77 people per square kilometer. It’s a great postcard, thank you Tuula!

An Official Building?

China

China

This postcard comes from Danloo, who is from China. I have absolutely no idea which building this is but it does look rather official, so if someone out there may be so kind as to tell me which building it is and what it serves as, I’d be most happy. Yes I did Google “Wenhua Qiangguo” but I cannot find anything that is not written in Chinese. So, read, set, help!

Bridging the Gap

Öland, Sweden

Öland, Sweden

This postcard of the Swedish island of Öland comes from Sandra, who is from Sweden. At 1,342 km² in size, the island is the second largest island of Sweden and the smallest of the traditional provinces of Sweden. It only has 25 000 people living on it but during the summer months up to 500 000 people visit it. In 1972 a bridge was built across the Kalmar Strait, which is 6 km long and connects Öland to the Swedish mainland. Even though this island has been inhabited since 8000 BC, this is the very first time that I’ve ever heard of it. Thank you Sandra for a great postcard!