Bhutan Resumes World’s First Philatelic CD-ROM Series
Documentaries Commemorate Bhutan’s Historic Year, 2008
Bhutan Postal Corporation LTD announces its second issue in a series of world’s first CD-ROM postage stamps. The extraordinary computer-age postage stamps chronicle the remarkable recent accomplishments of the Himalayan country.
“Bhutan: Voting for Happiness” illustrates the country’s peaceful transition from a hereditary monarchy to a constitutional democracy, and “Bhutan: Coronation 2008″ documents the coronation of Bhutan’s new king, His Majesty, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.
These new CD-ROM stamps with web portal follow in the footsteps of the two CD-ROM stamps released by Bhutan in 2008. The CD stamps are the latest in a series of postage stamp “firsts” by Bhutan since the 1960’s. The stamps are mini-CD’s that fit into exquisitely decorated, self adhesive envelopes. When inserted into a computer, the CD-ROM stamp actually can be used as postage. When inserted into a computer, the CD-ROM plays an 8-minute video about Bhutan, and also offers a web portal (hyperlink) to www.BhutanToday.net (http://bhutantoday.net/), with news about Bhutan in real time. The “stamp that never goes out date” also can be added to a collection or displayed in a frame.
With these CD-ROM stamps, Bhutan continues receiving world attention for its decades-long standing in releasing distinctive “first-ever” postage stamps, including the Exchange of Gratitude Color-Your-Own postage stamps, and stamps of silk, steel, playable phonograph records and many others.
The “Bhutan: Voting for Happiness” stamp captures the lines of Bhutanese who gathered to vote in elections for the new democratic government. Though voting is not a new concept in Bhutan, the implementation of a new constitution giving the rights of governance to the people over the monarchy represents a new way of life. The stamp also depicts the country’s flag surrounding the line of voters. In addition, the bright faces of men, women and children on the CD-ROM stamp represent that spirit of contentment the monarch and the new government seek to preserve - a land where Gross National Happiness can thrive.
The documentary for this stamp describes how Bhutan is perhaps the only country in the world that sets the goal of “Gross National Happiness” as a pillar of its governance. In 2008, after a successful reign of 34 years, His Majesty the Fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuck announced that it was time for his people to govern their own country and transition from a monarchy to a constitutional democracy. ”Bhutan: Voting for Happiness” documents the thoughts and feelings of the Bhutanese people as they experienced this transition and considered their new responsibilities.
The “Bhutan: Coronation 2008″ stamp depicts the pagentry of the coroantion of Bhutan’s fifith King, His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. Small images reflect defining sentiments of the coronation day (November 9, 2008), especially the deep respect for the king by the people and the people by the King. The images of His Majesty are set against the gold carvings of the throne and the five colors of silk, which represent valor and in Bhutan are only worn by a King.
This documentary celebrates the crowning of the Fifth King of Bhutan. Though Bhutan has recently become a constitutional democracy, the King will retain an important role in the future of the country. This young King has won the hearts of his people following many of the principals of good will and governance toward the people established by his father the Fourth King. Coronation 2008 reveals the nature of this man behind the crown and why his people honor and love him as they do. The celebrations colorfully documented and preserved in this stamp record an important next step in this century-old monarchy’s life as a new democracy.
The stamps were developed by Creative Products International of Pittsburgh, PA, USA, a product design, custom outsourced manufacturing and importing company. The company is known for its innovative manufactored goods and manufacturing supervision experise. For the last three decades, the company has been involved primarily in importing from Asia and the Pacific Rim to the US.
The company was founded by Frances Todd Stewart, whose father, the late Burt Kerr Todd, is believed to have been the first American to visit Bhutan, back in 1951. He also developed more than 60 distinctive and unusual postage stamps for Bhutan throughout his lifetime.
The new CD-ROM stamps were offset printed by Toppan Printing Company LTD of Hong Kong, and the CD’s were replicated by Smartlink Group, also of Hong Kong. Toppan is one of the world’s top security printers, and is listed on the “Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations.” Smartlink is a worldwide leader in the secure replication of digital material.