Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Unique Anthem Stamp

This stamp from Bhutan is actually an self-adhesive stamp shaped like a record and is playable. When place on a turntable it plays the Bhutanese National Anthem. I bought one from Canada at Ebay 3 years ago. Stamps in mint condition are hard to acquire and are quite expensive. The whole collection consist of 7 embossed record stamps of varying colors and designs.

Druk Tsendhen ("The Thunder Dragon Kingdom") is the national anthem of Bhutan.

Adopted in 1953, the music is by Aku Tongmi and the words are by Dasho Gyaldun Thinley. Tongmi was educated in India and was recently appointed leader of the military brass band when the need for an anthem rose at the occasion of a state visit from prime minister Nehru of India. His original score was inspired by the Indian and British anthems, as well as the Bhutanese folk tune Thri nyampa med pa pemai thri ("The Unchanging Lotus Throne"). The melody has twice undergone changes by Mr Tongmi's successors as band leaders.

The original lyrics were 12 lines, but was shortened to the present 6 lines version in 1964 by a secretary to the king. As the anthem is inspired by a folk tune, there is a choreography to it as well, originally directed by Mr. Tongmi.

These record stamps which plays the national anthem were issued in 1973.