Small Stamp Condenses Rich Culture--GSU Confucius Institute Co-sponsors Festival Celebrating the Lunar New Year

[Source]    GSU Confucius Institute [Time]    2011-01-25 10:59:56 

Group photo of GSU Confucius Institute US Director Prof. Gu Baotong (left 1) with the stamp designer Mr. Kam Mak (left 2)

Atlanta, Jan 22nd-Kumquats deliver happiness and rabbits stand for blessings at the beginning of the new year. In order to celebrate the traditional Chinese festival, the Spring Festival, and introduce local residents to Chinese spring festival culture, in particular the culture of Chinese Zodiac, the Confucius Institute at Georgia State University (GSU) joined hands with the United States Postal Service (USPS). They had a ceremony for the 2011 stamp releasing and held a Chinese zodiac culture and art festival at the National Archives at Atlanta. The stamp designer Mr. Kam Mak, Vice President of USPS Southwest Area Ms. Linda J. Welch, Curator of the Southeast Region of the National Archives at Atlanta Mr. James J. McSweeney, USPS Atlanta District Manager Ms. Kate Wiley, Chair of OCA National Mr. Ken Lee, along with many local residents, participated in the event.

The ceremony proceeded in a warm and festive atmosphere, with red lanterns, paper-cuts, Chinese characters of “Fu”, and cartoon rabbits decorated every corner of the Archives. The locals in their festival costumes enjoyed a happy get-together to celebrate the arrival of the new year and the publication of the stamp “Celebrating the Lunar New Year of the Rabbit”.

One scene of the exciting event

The ceremony started at around 11:30 a.m. USPS Atlanta Manager Ms. Kate Wiley and Southwest Area Vice President Ms. Linda J. Welch delivered speeches for the event and inaugurated the stamp in front of all the participants. The 2011 celebration stamp was designed by Chinese-American artist Kam Mak. Two kumquats embodying happiness and luck stood out from green leaves, becoming even more dazzling and shining. There is a paper-cutting golden rabbit with the cursive script form of Chinese character ‘Tu’ below on the left upper side of the stamp.

GSU Confucius Institute Chinese Director Sun Shi (left 1) presenting Ms. Linda J. Welch (left 2) the stamp of the Year of the Rabbit

Group photo of a local citizen holding his Chinese name with a Confucius Institute volunteer

Director Gu Baotong (left 1) and Mr. Kam Mak (left 2) adding the newly released stamp into the exhibition

This set of stamps is composed of 12 stamps, with 12 paper-cut animals decorating the surroundings, standing for luck and auspiciousness. According to Ms. Linda J. Welch, it is not only the first time for the celebration to be held by USPS in Atlanta, but also the first time for USPS to publish a commemorative stamp this year, the first ‘all-Forever’ commemorative stamp in America.

The stamp has no face value, which means that no matter how the postage changes, the stamp will never become devaluated and will be used as a first-class standard stamp forever. After the release ceremony, the Confucius Institute Chinese Director Sun Shi, on behalf of the Institute, presented the most newly published stamps to Ms. Linda J. Welch. Ms. Linda J. Welch extended her thanks and appreciation to the Institute for its continuous effort in hosting the cultural festival and promoting culture and art exchanges between the two countries.

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