Sunday, August 31, 2014

Year of the Snake, Indonesia

after a break last weekend, here I am back with Sunday Stamps...with the subject of reptiles. I have to say that I've never really managed to grow some fondness of reptiles...well, apart from turtles and tortoises maybe....but all others are like a big NO NO NO to me...and I'd just like to stay as far away from them as possible (which is not always manageable, since every single summer we have these small lizards climbing our house walls...Im not gonna be telling you this story of this time when I actually found one inside my room...I wasn't freaked was more like a ewww feeling of 'what if it falls over me' or 'what if it ends up inside my bed without my noticing' and stuff like reaction to reptiles is more or less like this:

yeah, sorry Agi...and all other reptile lovers...they may be fascinating...but keep them away from me por favor! :)

with that confession made, here comes my choice for, well I wasn't really sure if this is appropriate to be posted cos in a way it covers a completely different subject, the Year of the....theme...but then again, being it is a Year of the Snake issue, I said, hey, why not...the 'topicality' of the issue has long time gone...and on top of that, I've realized I have never posted something Indonesian here before, so here it comes...a fascinating FDC issued by the Indonesian postal service for the Year of the Snake (which was last year) is strange that I call something reptile-related, fascinating, but in all fairness, as an issue, it really is.

In my possession I have the FDC that was issued with the souvenir sheet...there is one with stamps only as of issue: 22 January 2013

a few words on the holiday and its importance in Indonesia...

 The Lunar New Year is considered the most important festival for the Chinese people in Indonesia and around the world. The festival celebrates the arrival of the first day of the first month of Chinese calendar as well as the coming of spring. In Indonesia, the Chinese Lunar New Year is a national holiday, where 2013 was denoted by the snake shio with the element of water.

To welcome the Chinese Lunar New Year 2564, stamp series were issued depicting the object of snakes and water elements, namely:

Naja sputatrix - an Indonesian cobra or locally known as Sendok Jawa snake, which is a  poisonous,  snake and can be found in the islands of Java, Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, Komodo and Flores. With a maximum length of 2 meters, this snake is capable of spraying venom directed to the eye. The color varies in each region. Black in western part of Java, brownish to yellowish in East Java and Nusa Tenggara. Its habitats are usually damp but warm, like under a bamboo tree or it may occasionally be seen near the river. Although not included in the endangered species list, a number of species tends to decline each year due to trading of snake skin and as pets.

Dewa Ruci - The legend of Dewa Ruci, a story of Javanese traditional puppet play called wayang, began when Bima was instructed by his teacher, Resi drona, to find Prawitasari holy water in order to reach peaceful mind in life. The Prawitasari holy water represents the essence of divine spiritual knowledge for the human being. Bima eventually realized that the Prawitasari holy water was located at the bottom of the ocean. Undoubtedly, he jumped into the ocean, but there he faced a giant sea snake - the symbol of evil traits that must be fought. Once he got rid of the obstacles, Bima met the tiny God Dewa Suksma Ruci who knew Bima's purpose of coming to the center of the Ocean.

 Naga Seba is batik design depicting dragon (snake) and birds (wings). Considered as Keratonan batik style, the design is highly influenced by the Hinduism and thw Islam. As also founded in the chariot of Singa Barong and Paksi Naga Liman, the ornament of Naga Seba combines snakes and wings as a symbol of the Sultanate of Cirebon. Typical Cirebon traditional glass paintings often use Naga Seba as objects.

that would be my contribution for today...for some more, ermmm, interesting (?) creatures, visit Viridian's blog :)


  1. That's really, really beautiful, and not too creepy...

  2. I couldn't find a snake at all so was really pleased to see these fine stamps.

  3. Beautiful stamp. And I share the same kind of "passion" for reptiles... :P

  4. That is a scary-looking snake, especially the part that is on the stamp.

  5. imagine running into such a creature...for me it looks formidable..!