Thursday, May 22, 2008

1984 Penang-China Exhibition

1984 Penang-China Exhibition

"Penang China Stamp Exhibition - Front"

"Penang China Stamp Exhibition - Back"

This is an interesting aerogramme featuring the Penang-China Stamp Exhibition. The exhibition was held from 26 May 1984 to 10 June 1984. This was a joint stamp exhibition organised by Pos Malaysia and China Postal Services. This was a small exhibition and I have not much information about it. If anybody have any info about this exhibition, please feel free to contact me or leave a comment regarding the event.

The aerogramme was affixed with a China year of rats stamp and was cancelled with a special pictorial cancellation. You will normally get foreign stamp affixed on an exhibition cover if:

1. the country have send representative to participate in your exhibition

2. special stamp/cancellation is issued for the events

Of all my collection, this is the earliest "joint exhibition" cover (with other countries) which I discovered so far. Although in the later date, Malaysia would organised more major stamp exhibition with lots of participation from other countries, this may be the first cover to ever evidence that.

China had issued a very nice cancellation to commemorate this event. Please note that the word "Pameran" (exhibition) is wrongly spelled as "Pamiran". However, according to my dad, bahasa baku is not strongly implemented at that time and this is a correct spelling.

The cancellation olso featured the hibiscus flower, which is the national flower of Malaysia.

1984 was the year of rat and thus the stamp is used. This was also the year my younger sister was born. How I wish it was the year of monkey and the China year of monkey stamp was affixed. If so, this cover would worth a fortune.

"Burial Pole (Kelirieng)"

At the back of the aerogrammes, there is this picture regarding the Burial Pole (or also known as "Keliring"). This is erected for a Punan aristocrats.

Punan Bah or Punan is an ethnic group found in Sarawak, Malaysia. They are distinct, unrelated to the Penan and also the other so called Punan found in Kalimantan the Indonesian part of Borneo. Their name stems from two rivers along the banks of which they have been living time immemorial. They do have other names - Mikuang Bungulan or Mikuang and Aveang Buan. But these terms are only used ritually these days.

Punan is a stratified society of 'laja' (aristocrats), 'panyen' (commoners), and 'lipen' (slaves). This is a fact determine their historical traditions that have been preserved. Just like most of the history of European Middle Ages is linked to and mainly concerned the various ruling monarchs, so are the historical and mythical traditions of Punan closely connected to their rulings aristocrats.

The Punan have a unique burial custom. In the early days they did not bury their aristocrats or lajar. Instead they built a pole known as kelirieng of 50-meter height to lay down their beloved leaders. In Sarawak it is estimated that there are fewer than 30 kelirieng left standing. The Punan still practice secondary burial ceremony, whereby the dead body is kept at their longhouse for at least 3–7 days. This is partly to give more time for far away relatives to give their last respect to the deceased.

There are so much tribe or ethnic group in Sabah and Sarawak which we may have little knowledge about. I hope I could visit one of this pole one day.

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