The World On My Doorstep

An ever-expanding postcard blog

Swaziland!

Scan 7 - Version 4

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Another stroke of luck brought me this great card from Selby in Swaziland, one of the smallest countries in Africa, with a population of only just over 1 million. The country takes its name from King Mswati II, who took control of the area in the late 1800s and was a ferocious warrior. Here you can see King Mswati III taking part in beautiful cultural traditions, which Selby tells me the Swazis are very proud of. In this dance, those women with red feathers on their heads are princesses. Fantastic card!

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Paradise on Earth

Scan 7 - Version 2This stunning card, also from Idrialis, shows three more beautiful images of the Dominican Republic. Famed for its gorgeous beaches and blissfully secluded areas of natural beauty, I feel very lucky to have this little card as a window into that world. Named after Saint Dominic, the Spanish speaking country shares the island with neighbouring French speaking Haiti, making it one of only two Caribbean islands to be shared. I hope one day I get to visit because the Dominican Republic seems stunning!

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Ebano Verde Creek

Scan 7 - Version 3This stunning card comes from Idrialis in the Dominican Republic – the second largest Caribbean nation. Here you can see a creek running through the Ebano Verde national park, which Idrialis informs me is bursting with endangered and rare species. At 18,000 square miles, the country has a population of 10 million – 1 million of whom live in the capital of Santo Domingo. As such, areas like this are left true havens and full of natural beauty.

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Anuar Dan

Scan 6 - Version 2From Victoria Jane in Malaysia, I received this great card, designed by Malay artist Anuar Dan who is famed for his creations piecing together local artefacts and architecture to create artwork depicting Malay heritage. His works supposedly bring times of the past into the present and remind people of ‘days gone by’. It is very pretty!

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Where the Mountains Meet the Sea

Scan 7Another stunning card from Vero – this time showing the stark contrast in geography on Tenerife. This beautiful island is 785 miles square with a population of almost 900,000. The Canary Islands supposedly got their name when Berber King Juba II discovered particularly vicious dogs there (canaria). The Romans, meanwhile, called Tenerife Nivaria, referring to the snow covered peak of the Teide volcano (seen in this image). By the 14th century, writings refer to the island as Isla del Infierno, or ‘island of hell’, in relation to volcanic eruptions. Tenerife, as it is known today, is so named for the volcano ‘tene’ (meaning mountain) and ‘ife’ (meaning white). Bet you didn’t know all that when you woke up this morning!

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Beautiful Tenerife

Scan 6 - Version 3This beautiful calendar card comes from Spanish Vero, on her holiday to Tenerife. Whilst Tenerife is not its own country, and is a part of Spain, it is part of the autonomous community of the Canary Islands, and attracts 5 million tourists a year. With its spectacular geography and Mediterranean climate, its hardly surprising! So take a moment to enjoy these 12 beautiful images. Thanks Vero!

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The Heads of an Old Man and a Youth

Scan 6This lovely card comes from Ellu in Italy and shows Leonardo Da Vinci’s Study of the Heads of an Old Man and a Youth, which dates to around 1495. Ellu has a love for this sort of art, so I love that she in turn shares in with me! Da Vinci used to do these studies to prepare for his elaborate final masterpieces. Fantastic card, thanks Ellu!

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Tennessee

Scan 4This lovely card comes from Terry in Franklin County, Tennessee, USA. She tells me the weather they had this winter there was crazy and I can’t say I hadn’t already heard that! It sounded bad! This card was issues by the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce and shows some of the most interesting things to do in the area. Lovely card! Thanks Terry!

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A Rungus Beader

Scan 4 - Version 2This beautiful card comes from Fiona in Malaysia and shows a beader from the Rungus ethnic group. Fiona tells me this lady will live in a longhouse where about twenty families will all live together. Historically, the jar in front of the lady would have been used as a burial jar and placed in caves. However now they are used for storing water for bathing. Fiona also mentions that the Rungus still keep many of their old traditions. Absolutely fascinating! Thanks so much for the explanation Fiona!

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A Package From India

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This lovely selection of cards comes from Som in India and depict some really lovely scenes of his country. First, my favourite, you can see Mirjan Fort in the district of Uttara Kannada which dates back to the sixteenth century and was renowned for its strategic importance. Its grounds spread over ten acres, encompassed by a large moat. Over the centuries it has survived many battles and been ruled by several dynasties. Next is a beautiful bright card showing my favourite flower – the sunflower – which are grown a lot in India for their importance as an oilseed crop. Next, the Red Fort in Delhi, a 17th century fort also encompassed by a water-filled moat. Its design is extremely extravagant and ornamental. Every year on Indian Independence Day (15 August), the national flag is hoisted up at the Red Fort by the Prime Minister who then broadcasts a speech from its ramparts. Next you can see an absolutely delicious looking card! Just look at it makes me hungry! Here you can see Panipuri – a popular street snack of fried crisps filled with tamarind water and masala, traditionally served one at a time in leaf-cups by venders. Finally, you can see an ornamental bronze Nataraja, or Lord of Dance, dating back to the Chola Dynasty. This is considered to be a depiction of the god Shiva, doing the cosmic dance of creation to prepare an old, tired universe for rebirth. A beautiful selection of cards, thank you so much Som! I have learned so much from researching them!

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